Mobile labs, from companies like Mountview Business Park, are necessary when schools do not have adequate access to science equipment otherwise. These are vehicles that store the laboratory equipment necessary for schools to perform practical science. But for mobile labs to be the most effective, the equipment must be well-suited for the curriculum. For this reason, schools that share mobile labs will want to communicate with each other so they can make sure that the mobile labs come with the right equipment.
Choosing the Right Equipment
The types of equipment that the mobile lab should bring is largely determined by the grade level of the students. Students at the primary level perform simple experiments. Therefore, when science equipment is not available, it is still possible for teachers to use improvisation to meet the needs of the curriculum. The older the students, however, the more sophisticated the curriculum becomes and the more expensive the science equipment often is.
To keep costs down, schools can engage in group work so that multiple students can share the same equipment. Group work is usually the most manageable when students are divided into groups of four and the class size is no larger than 20.
Guiding the Curriculum
The curriculum should be built around providing students with explanations for the world that are grounded in the scientific method. But in addition to teaching students scientific facts, the curriculum should be focused on teaching students scientific methodologies that can only be learned through direct experimentation. Therefore, the more access to scientific instruments that students have, the more tools that they will have at their exposure to explore the world and make discoveries. While teachers must guide students through the experiments, students will learn the most if there is also room for them to make discoveries themselves.
The Role of Field Trips
Mobile labs provide a special benefit of facilitating scientific experiments during field trips. When students are taught in a classroom, they are only provided a simplified version of reality. Only by participating in the messier world outside can students understand how scientific experiments apply to the real world. By having local field trips, students will understand how science occurs everywhere, even in their own backyards, while also keeping costs low.
Don't Limit Students to Only Conventional Equipment
Besides obvious scientific equipment, besides microscopes and beakers, students in a science classroom often need access to computers, video, and white boards for the teacher to have a maximum impact. Therefore, the mobile lab may be used to transport such equipment as well, especially when students are traveling to a remote location to perform experiments.