Science Laboratories and STE Learning Spaces Guidelines

In 2009-2010, the MSBA, along with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and other consultants, developed guidelines for science laboratories in high school facilities. These spaces should be adaptable and designed to support all types of science curriculum as well as other hands-on experiential offerings (maker spaces, STEAM Labs, fabrication laboratories "fab-labs") to allow for future flexibility and multi-functionality to accommodate changes in curriculum delivery and academic structure during the useful life of the school.

During 2018, the MSBA worked with an outside consultant to review National, Massachusetts, and MSBA standards and create recommended best practices regarding the size, configuration, outfitting, management and maintenance, and use of educational spaces for Science and Technology/Engineering (STE) education, with a focus on K-8, while revisiting the previous work done for High School Science Labs. This included general classroom space, classrooms dedicated to STE, Middle and High School Science Laboratories, and project areas not dedicated exclusively to STE education. The result of this work is a detailed report which can be read here. The report outlines:

  • Context of STEM programming
  • Spectrum and evolution of STEM in Massachusetts schools
  • Design guidelines by room type and grade
  • Important safety considerations for STEM learning including policy and systems

 

Review and Recommendations of Best Practices for K-12 STEM Learning Spaces - 2018   High School Science Lab Guidelines Presentation - 2010

Review and Recommendations of Best Practices for K-12 STEM Learning Spaces - 2018

Supplemental Tables: Example Laboratory Hazards, Controls, and Design Standards

  High School Science Lab Guidelines Presentation - 2010
     
High School Science Lab Protypical Plans - 2010   High School Science Lab Fly-Through Video
High School Science Lab Protypical Plans - 2010   High School Science Lab Fly-Through Video