As 2012 approaches, we're seeing classroom budgets cut in many states/schools. While many subjects to require demonstration materials, in my opinion, no subject needs them more than science. Here at Fischer Technical Company, we've been able to have another successful year by offering many opportunities through us directly or through our manufacturers to help stretch the budgets of the classroom. Here are a few suggestions:
1. Share the larger purchases. Manipulative Kits, Vacuum Pumps, Portable lab stations, Anatomical models are very costly yet very necessary to demonstrate/teach high school science. This is a great opportunity to pool budgets with other classrooms and share this equipment.
2. Consider "economy lines". Our principal, United Scientific, has been importing high quality glassware, plasticware, hardware, etc for 20 years now. Strict quality control processes are in place enabling teachers to save substantial money by passing on the name brands and stocking their classroom with non branded products.
3. Convert "breakables" to "unbreakables". One good example is to purchase plastic microscope slides as opposed to glass slides.
4. This is an easy one, but store your expensive items safely and properly. Cover your microscopes. Move painted models around carefully to avoid paint chipping. A little TLC goes a long way! If your kit came with a molded storage case, utilize it. Your kit was able to safely ship, likely from around the world in this packaging. It goes to show that this is probably the best way to store your kit.
5. Follow proper maintenance. If your vacuum pump requires oil. Change the oil regularly to ensure a long life for the pump. If your product has fittings that need greased, grease 'em!
6. Finally, make sure you are using the proper tool for the job. This is another obvious one. But many times I've seen people use pens to open boxes instead of a knife (the pen breaks and ink gets on the product), using a ruler as a scraper, using a text book as a shim, etc.
Many of these tips are obvious, but are often overlooked in the stressful and demanding day of our fine educators.
Have a happy holiday season!