Applied Science - Science and Math (3B)
 Pre Lab 

  • Discovering laboratory equipment.
  • Comparing the functions of different lab equipment.
  • balance
  • beaker
  • graduated cylinder
  • ruler
  • worksheet
  • beakers
  • graduated cylinders
  • ruler
  • balance

Students determine the function of laboratory equipment.


Laboratory equipment can be very complicated because many pieces were designed for certain functions.  In many cases, scientists or inventors have to develop their own "tools" in order to complete an experiment.  

Depending on the science will determine the equipment needed.  For instance, microscopes are very important to scientists who study protozoa or other small organisms.  A geologist needs a hand lense and a hammer to break rocks.  A physicist needs electronic equipment depending on the exact field of investigation.
Some equipment like glassware is usually standard including beakers and graduated cylinders.  Equipment that measures weight or size is also important in most labs. It is important for young students to become familiar with some of the basic tools of science. 


  1. In this exercise, students will look at the different science equipment you put out at stations.  You can identify the piece of equipment by putting a name tag in front of each piece.  If you don’t have enough equipment,  you might want to use pictures. 
  2. Students should try to figure out the function of each of the items before you discuss the function
  3. Use the worksheet to see if students can predict what the items are used for.  Have students list the piece of equipment and then predict its use.  Below are some examples you can use.  

BEAKER: Used to measure and pour liquids.  Have students notice the "beak" which helps liquids pour easily and accurately.

GRADUATED CYLINDERS:  Used to measure liquids.  Have students notice that they come in many different sizes.  Graduated cylinders also have beaks to help pour easily.

RULER:  Can be used to measure length in a linear direction.

BALANCE:  Can measure the mass of an object by using mass weights.  Can also measure one object against another.

THERMOMETER:  Measures the temperature.

LITER:  Measures volume.

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