As STEM continues to become a high priority in the education and employment fields, having a state-of-the-art lab is very important. But unless you’re a big pharmaceutical company or have a large amount of funding to support your lab upgrades, chances are you’re looking for a way to improve functionality and results without breaking the bank. Here are 4 great ways to upgrade your laboratory:
1. Go digital
While many labs are equipped with high-functioning computers, few have fully connected with the digital age. By making your lab equipment compatible with digital analytics and evaluation tools, you’ll be able to examine data and keep current with experiments whether you’re in the lab or half a world away. This helps upgrade your lab in two ways. First, each individual working on a project can have access to the same data. Second, your scientists are more likely to be engaged in their research when they’re away from the lab. This means instead of camping out in their lab coats they can ponder their results from the comfort of their homes.
2. Make it portable
By providing your laboratory scientists with portable kits, you’ll allow your scientific research opportunities to grow. Many biologists begin their research at home, and then take it to the lab. By upgrading the process and formalizing the work-from-home lab structure, you’ll get better, more consistent lab results. The results are more likely to be publishable, too, because they’ve been standardized. The type of portable kit depends greatly on the type of work your lab does, but the basic kit would provide collection tools and containers, and any other preliminary testing essentials like a swab kit.
3. Add a 3-D printer
Decrease your laboratory spending and customize creations to your exact specifications with a 3-D printer. For scientists, 3-D printers provide a quick and accurate way to model molecules, create prototypes, and test their hypothesis on manufactured equipment. This can save a tremendous amount of money and time when testing out new experiments.
4. Add a sound system
Did you know that music can improve brain function for certain tasks? If your lab scientists deal with a lot of complex and creative problem solving, adding a stereo may promote productivity and increase their ability to think through an issue. It’s another budget-friendly way of enhancing your laboratory. And it’ll set your lab apart from others, too. Just make sure the music is neutral. Classical and jazz music are good examples of lab-appropriate tunes.
With these great, realistic ways to upgrade your laboratory, you’ll be making your lab a more enjoyable and productive place to work. Science is fascinating on its own, but these improvements enhance the experience of discovering new science.