A maximum of 24 students should be housed in a lab/classroom and a minimum of 60 square feet per student provided for a total room size of 1,440 square feet. A shape closer to square than long and narrow provides more opportunities for flexible furniture arrangements and is particularly appropriate for Physics.. Students often sit at tables large enough for two students; these tables should be sturdily constructed with epoxy resin or phenolic resin tops. Attention to leg attachment is critical since these tables will likely be moved often during their lifetime and legs may come loose if not of welded metal or through-bolted wood construction. If the same tables are to serve dual usage as work surfaces for discussion and presentations, and as laboratory surfaces, they should be at laboratory height, or 36″. Providing two sets of tables, one for seated discussions and one for standing, laboratory work allows the class to move between discussion/presentation and investigations during the same class period without disrupting the laboratory table arrangement
Physics lab/classrooms generally require fewer sinks and much more flexible space. High ceilings of 10 feet or more are desirable. A suspension apparatus capable of supporting at least 300 pounds per linear foot should hang beneath the ceiling to provide for the suspension of pendulums, and other devices. Longer, wider tables (seven feet by three feet) are useful since the larger surface can easily support, say, a 2-meter air track. The top material could be resin or wood butcher block (which lends itself more readily to C-clamps). Longer, movable tables should have at least one intermediate pair of legs which should be connected to the others by a stretcher frame construction. Some specifically designed physics tables have been employed to enhance a particular program. Physics requires a large number of electrical outlets placed around the room and in recessed floor boxes. DC power can most reasonably be provided using portable converters, plugged into a standard AC outlet. Provide lengths of wall space with no cabinets or markerboards for the installation of Atwood machines or similar apparatus. An adjacent student project space with power tools and the ability to construct devices discussed in physics can greatly enhance the engineering aspects of a physics course.
Biology lab/classrooms require a minimum of one large sink for every four students with both hot and cold water. A very useful perimeter sink station is called a “rinseaway” station and consists of a molded fiberglass top; 6 foot and 10 foot long models have one or two drain areas sloping to a single sink. A pull-out face shower can be used to wash off the sloping surface as well as an additional safety feature of the room. Glassware drying racks can be located on the wall above perimeter sink stations; make sure that the bottom of the drying rack is flush with the top of the backsplash of the sink so that water drains directly into the sink. Tables for lecture and class discussion should be separate from tables for lab work so that students can easily move between each activity without disturbing set-ups on the lab tables. Lab table height can be an issue on Biology as many prefer to sit down while using a microscope, although, from a safety standpoint, this is not necessarily a good thing.