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Laboratory glassware - various flasks and beakers

Choice of equipment

In this section of the course we will discuss students selecting their own equipment to perform a practical or being able to set up apparatus with minimal guidance and instruction.

You need to consider what equipment is available to your students, such as if you want them using measuring cylinders, do they have a choice such as 10ml, 25ml, 50ml or 100ml or is there just the one they need for the practical available?

If something needs to be heated, is a Bunsen burner preferable to a water bath. Are students able to justify their choices and how often do we give them the opportunity to do this? How could this link into the last section on independence?

Students will be asked about certain practical set ups in examinations, but also alternative ones for a similar investigation and this is a good opportunity to see how different groups come up with different methods and using different apparatus.


Can you give an example of where you allow students to select their own apparatus and also how they justified its use?

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This article is from the free online course:

Managing the Practical Classroom in Secondary School Science

National STEM Learning Centre