15 Essential Things You Will Find In Every Science Lab
While each science lab performs different types of research and requires different types of equipment, there are certain items that can be found in nearly any science lab. The following 15 items are crucial to most scientific endeavors and can be found in most science labs:
Beakers can come in many shapes and sizes and are used to hold, measure, and heat liquids. Glass is the material of choice for holding most types of substances.
Bunsen burners can be used to expose items to a flame for sterilization purposes or to heat items, such as liquids in a beaker. They can be used instead of a hotplate in many cases.
There is rarely a lab that doesn’t need to pour liquids into tight spaces. A funnel helps prevent spills and lost liquids.
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Making messes in labs is a common occurrence. When liquids spill or counters need to be wiped, paper towels are used to clean up messes.
Any lab that uses liquids uses stir rods. They are generally made of glass so that they are heat resistant and non-reactive.
Test Tube Brushes
Most labs use glass test tubes that are reusable. In order to maintain cleanliness, test tube brushes are used to remove sediment and dirt from all sized test tubes.
Test Tube Racks
Test tubes are perfectly shaped for what they are used for but need a rack in order to prevent spills or to be stored.
Thermometers can be used to measure the temperature of liquids and solids and are critical for data collection during experiments.
There are many items in a lab that get hot and tongs can be used to handle anything from test tubes to flasks without having to touch them.
Flasks are a more accurate way to measure liquids than standard beakers and are often used for mixing liquids with volumes between a half and a full liter.
All labs need to be able to measure masses of powders and watch glasses allow weight measurements to be performed without getting the scale dirty.
Most labs need the ability to measure small amounts of liquid and pipets can measure anything from a few milliliters to a single microliter.
When a scientist needs to move a small amount of solid, normally in the form of a powder, around, they use a microspatula. The metal is easy to clean and does not collect powder on contact.
Crucibles are used to heat small quantities of liquids or solids to extremely high temperatures. They are made of a material that will not crack or explode at high temperatures.
Every lab has different types of liquids or solids that need to be stored for future use. Most substances are stored in glass bottles since glass is non-reactive, strong, and easily labeled.
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Labs invest a large amount of money in equipment to aid their scientific work. While some items are specific to a lab or a particular type of research, there are many items that are found in every lab ranging from a high school chemistry lab to a lab of a top academic mind.
Vicky Coleman has worked as a biology lab teacher for the past 8 years and enjoys writing in her spare time. To read more science related articles from her and her colleagues, she recommends starting with this article on recent biological discoveries.