ASSIST

School science suppliers

Need to find where to purchase equipment and consumables for school science laboratory fit outs, practical resourcing and safety equipment. This Science ASSIST curated resource is a Google Docs spreadsheet of school science suppliers and businesses which provide laboratory equipment, resources, supplies and other merchandise suitable for use in Australian school science laboratories.

Laboratory Notes: Preparing chemical solutions

There are a wide range of chemicals used in solution form for various experimental activities and demonstrations in the school science curriculum. These solutions are required in different strengths or concentrations based on intended activity.

These laboratory notes set out the main methods used for the calculation of and preparation of solutions.

Laboratory Notes: Phenolphthalein/NaOH agar cube experiment

Investigating the effect of cell size on diffusion (absorption) rate (speed) is a common investigation carried out by secondary students. It is modelled with a simple experiment using different-sized cubes of agar containing a pH indicator. 

These laboratory notes provide a method for producing Phenolphthalein - sodium hydroxide agar and directions for conducting the experiment. Safety considerations and waste disposal instructions are also included.

Laboratory Notes: Food Tests

Food testing is routinely carried out in senior biology classes. Students test a variety of food samples for carbohydrates, such as sugar and starch, lipids, proteins and vitamin C. These organic compounds react with specific chemical reagents to produce a visible and identifiable change.

These laboratory notes contain instructions for tests suitable for use in schools

SOP: Handling liquid nitrogen

Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) and detailed method on how to handle liquid nitrogen (LN2).

The SOP also contains instructions for performing a range of activities using liquid nitrogen.

The accompanying example risk assessment should be used as a guide only. Also users should consider risks and safety measures in their local environment before proceeding.

AIS: Microscope choices for schools

When choosing a microscope consideration needs to be given to the application, skill level of staff and students and budget. Microscopes range in quality and price and are used for different purposes.

This information sheet describes traditional compound, stereo and digital microscopes and includes suggestions for new photomicrography options and microscope alternatives.

GUIDELINES for best practice for microbiology in Australian schools

Safety issues are a significant consideration in the teaching of microbiology as the subject is practical-based and there is potential for exposure to infectious organisms. It is the strict observance of correct procedures, which enables staff and students to work safely.

These guidelines outline the underpinning knowledge and laboratory techniques required for schools to successfully prepare, deliver and disassemble microbiology practical activities.

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