Science Instruction

Objective

Science Instruction has been added to the Standards to aid the Designer in determining the type, size, quality level, and features commonly needed. The Science curriculum is expanding at different rates on different campuses. Likewise the specific needs will vary from campus to campus. The intent of the Standards is to give the Designer a starting point from which to begin the programming process and build on the experience of the college.

Principles

Science shares the same principles as Instruction identified above. There is a strong desire to incorporate more technology into the Science classrooms and labs. The primary difference is flexibility. Much of the laboratory casework is fixed.

Science Classroom Types

There are three broad Science categories at CPCC: Biology, Chemistry, and Physics.

Generally, a new campus begins with several labs that will support some classes in these categories. The amount of students seeking college credit courses will influence the amount and degree of Science course offerings. As the campus grows, the Designer and Owner need to evaluate the existing lab spaces and design new labs to support the planned curriculum. It may be necessary to renovate/update the existing labs to meet more specific needs of the expanded curriculum.

  • Biology courses may include General Biology, Zoology, Ecology, Nutrition, Human Biology, Anatomy and Physiology, Microbiology, Ornithology, Marine Biology, Entomology, and possibly others that require Laboratory space.
  • Chemistry courses may include Chemistry Laboratory, Organic and Biochemistry Lab, and other topics in Chemistry.
  • Physics courses may include General Physics, Conceptual, Mechanics, Electricity and Magnetism, Sound and Light, Modern, College, and others.

Science Labratory Sizes

The square footage requirements will vary depending on the teaching style, course requirements, and laboratory casework. Most Lab instructors utilize a learner-centered delivery of instruction. Teams should be arranged into Lab stations of 4 (to 6 max.) students each. The stations need to be spaced about six feet apart to allow the instructor room to walk behind students.

  • Biology laboratories should be designed to accommodate 24 students and will range between 1,300 and 1,500 SF.
  • Chemistry laboratories should be designed to accommodate 24 students and will range between 1,300 and 1,500 SF.
  • Physics laboratories should be designed to accommodate 24 students and will range between 1,300 and 1,500 SF
  • Preparation/Storage rooms require at least 300 SF for each Lab. If a Preparation /Storage room is shared between two different Labs, then it will need to be at least 500 SF. The Prep/Storage room must have a door to the corridor as well as a door to the lab(s).

Lab Casework

The lab casework requirements will vary depending on the teaching style and course requirements. Designer should verify casework requirements before designing the lab. Most Lab instructors utilize a learner-centered delivery of instruction so students need to be arranged into groups of four. Lab instructors like to know where equipment and supplies are located so base and wall cabinets should have glass panels in the doors. Open shelving is preferred over wall cabinets with wood doors. All lab casework shall be clear hardwood finish with black epoxy resin tops. Sinks are integrated into the epoxy tops. Below are some general recommendations:

Instructor Desk

In the past, the instructor would perform a demonstration at their desk. Now, the instructor’s desk has a computer and a printer, and Instructors prefer to perform the demonstration at one of the student stations. Therefore, the Instructor needs two 30 x 72 desks (with cable mgnt.) near the (front) center of the room, but allow room for the portable overhead projector. Provide a sling for the CPU under the desk and a box/file pedestal. In the floor provide a flush floor box like a Smart classroom with power, network, video, audio outlets. Do not provide a sink or any gas connections at the Instructor station.

ADA

Provide at least one student workstation per lab that is adjustable and can meet the needs of a disabled student.

Biology

Each 4-student station is 29” high and includes ample knee space (30”w) for each student, open cubical for bookbags, and an open shelf for a microscope and/or storage. Cabinets or drawers can be minimal. Provide a central area on the countertop for a computer monitor and keyboard tray, with space underneath for the CPU. If possible, provide 2 computers back to back so 2 students can share a computer. Book bags need to be stored in cubicles under the countertop next to the CPU. At each end of the student station there will be a storage cabinet for placing microscopes. This arrangement allows a continuous unobstructed work surface for the students with storage recessed underneath. If the program requires a sink at the 4-student station, then the computers will need to be located on the perimeter base cabinets. Provide a duplex receptacle for each student.

Provide 36” high base cabinets and 24” high wall cabinets (or open shelving) along at least two walls, preferably 3 walls. Provide 3 sinks around room perimeter.

In Biology the students will sit in chairs with backs. Students can use the back of their chair to store their coat.

Chemistry

Each 4-student station is 36” high and includes ample (continuous) knee space for each student, open cubical for bookbags, and a few drawers. Drawers and cabinets can be kept to a minimum. Four students can share a central sink with hot and cold water. Each student will need a gas connection and a duplex receptacle. Book bags need to be stored in cubicles underneath the sink. At each end of the student station there will be a box drawer cabinet for placing instruments. This arrangement allows a continuous unobstructed work surface for the students with storage recessed underneath.

Provide 36” high base cabinets and 24” high wall cabinets (or open shelving) along 2 walls. Provide 3 sinks and locate 6 (min) computers and knee spaces away from the sinks. Mount the CPU in a sling under the countertop and provide a 30” clear knee space for each computer.

In Chemistry the students will sit on stools with backs. Students will store their coats on the back of the stools.

Physics

Each 4 to 6 student station is 36” high and does not require any drawers or cabinets. Open cubicles under the countertop would be desirable for bookbags. Each student needs a duplex receptacle, mount on side of station. This will create an unobstructed large work surface.

Provide 36” high base cabinets on two walls and allow for at least 6 computers. Mount the CPU in a sling under the countertop and provide a 30” clear knee space for each computer.

In Physics the students will sit on stools with backs. Students will store their coats on the back of the stools.

Room Orientation

Labs should be “landscape”; see Instruction above.

Boards and Screens

See Instruction above.

Doors and Windows

See Instruction above.

Windows are required in Labs and Storage/Prep rooms. It is desirable to have operable windows for fresh air and emergency exhaust. Opening a window should not require any special tools. The operable window needs to be a type of window that will open only partially, or with the proper hardware (or a heavy duty fixed screen) that will not allow a student to fall through the window opening.

Floors, Walls, Ceilings, and Finishes

See Instruction above.

Lab floors need to be (minimum) vinyl tile. It is desirable for the Chemistry Lab and Chemistry Preparation/Storage room to have a seamless chemical resistant vinyl floor.

Physics Lab ceiling should be higher than 10’ if possible.

HVAC, Plumbing

Refer to Instruction above.

Biology

Some Biology Labs will require fume hoods. Designer to ascertain with Owner the possible use of ventless fume hoods in Biology only.

Provide at least 3 sinks. Some Biology Labs may require a sink at each cluster of students with hot and cold water and gas. Designer to verify needs. Provide a safety eyewash/shower with a floor drain.

Chemistry

Labs will require six fume hoods plus one fume hood for waste.

Provide at least 3 sinks around the perimeter of the room. In addition, provide a sink with hot and cold water for every 4 students maximum. Also provide a gas connection and a duplex receptacle for each student. Designer to verify needs. Utilities under floor should be grouped together in an accessible trench whenever practical for future maintenance. Provide a safety eyewash/shower with a floor drain.

Physics

Provide one sink in base cabinet on an outside wall.

Storage/Preparation

This room will require a sink with hot and cold water. A fume hood, explosion-proof refrigerator, and an icemaker machine may be required if serving a Chemistry lab or certain Biology labs. Designer to ascertain the probable items, chemicals, and equipment to be stored in this room and design accordingly.

Lighting

Lab lighting should be similar to the lighting described in Instruction above.