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School WITHOUT lab & practical equipment - Please help

Discussion in 'Science' started by phlogiston, Sep 12, 2012.

  1. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    Those of in jobs where our employers provide many of the things we want should count our blessings.
    To think that parents pay for this (assuming you're UK)
    You need to open a scrounging eye. There is stuff all around, if you ask people may give you stuff.
    Rock samples are all around.
    Iron nails or paper clips
    Aluminium kitchen foil, drinks cans
    Copper old water pipe, or from the middle of discarded electrical wiring
    If you see a discarded electrical device, the main cable will make electrical leads (unplug first)
    Table salt sodium chloride
    Washing soda sodium carbonate (alkali)
    Vinegar ethanoic acid
    White spirit - hydrocarbon solvent
    Carbon - barbeque charcoal
    graphite -pencil lead
    perspex - ruler
    PCV electrical insulation
    polythene bags
    UV detector, tonic water (but no use unless you have a UV lamp)
    red cabbage, ribena, flower extracts make indicators (test domestic liquids)
    Chromatography on newspaper or tissue paper
    You have to be careful as some of these substances may not be pure in these forms.
    Top of a plasic drink bottle could make a funnel
    Do not be tempted to: use spirit level lasers in class (too intense) or to use sun lamps for UV lamps. Do not store toxic substances in old food containers.
    Research techniques for small scale / microscale chemistry.
    Good luck on the scrounge.
  2. If you want rock samples, I have some. We are a school for pupils with SLD and I can't personally see the need for box upon box of the darn things taking up space I could put something else (useful) in.
  3. Hi, just to wish you good luck both with your present endeavour and for the future. Not sure what year 7,8,9 and 10 correspond to in Scottish system but my impression is you are in a primary or middle school?
    Push for either getting data projector fixed or see if there is an OHP and box of acetates in a cupboard. And insist on getting a whiteboard - not necessarily interactive or smart - or a screen you can project on to. That's low tech interactive as students can draw on acetates too.
    I would reiterate advice about not spending own cash. If you have a local authority Science advisor or Improvement Officer or similar title, let them know how dire the situation is and see if there is a fund that you can get money from. Quote health and safety and quality of teaching and learning. Find out who your union rep is and join.
    See if pupils and colleagues and parents can donate yoghurt cartons for plastic beakers, takeaway or ice cream tubs to make kit boxes, and other items on phlogiston's list.
    Lot's of us are used to teaching Science on a bit of a shoestring but the situation you describe isn't even a shoestring. The Education Authority should be very ashamed of the position they have put you into.

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