How To Select A School Science Lab Furniture Manufacturer

Mar 28, 2024 2:27:12 PM / by WSI Team

The United States is falling behind other developed countries in how much it spends on educating students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). The result … test scores below the global average. 


During the last time testing was administered in 2018, the U.S. placed 11th out of 79 countries in science. Although the U.S. ranked first in the IMD World Competitiveness Center report in 2018, the country dropped to 10th in 2020. 


The good news is that STEM education programs have steadily received more funding over the last couple of years, as the federal government has begun placing a higher emphasis on STEM education. 


To remain competitive and a world leader in STEM careers, education in the field must continue to become a priority in the United States, however. As we continue to build a 21st century workforce, it’s important for public school districts, colleges and universities to continue investing in aging infrastructure. 


Choosing an experienced school science lab furniture manufacturer is key to ensuring quality. If your school is in the process of rebuilding or retrofitting an aging lab, here are some tips to help you place your students at the forefront of innovation and discovery.



What to Look For In a Manufacturing Partner



Engineer with mechanical worker checking on productionIn addition to sourcing architects and construction firms, one of the big challenges for school districts will be sourcing manufacturing partners to outfit all of these newly constructed science laboratories.


If your district is in the midst of building or retrofitting old classrooms, finding vendors with the right products and the ability to produce those products cost effectively and on time is paramount.


Let’s take a look at the most important attributes when selecting a science lab furniture manufacturer.


  • Evaluate Quality Standards: Look for manufacturers that adhere to rigorous quality standards. Ensure that the furniture is made from durable materials that can withstand the demands of a busy lab environment.
  • Consider Customization Options: Each lab may have unique requirements based on the curriculum and activities conducted. Choose a manufacturer that offers customization options to tailor the furniture to your specific needs.
  • Prioritize Safety Features: Safety should be a top priority in any science lab. Ensure that the furniture meets safety standards and includes features such as chemical-resistant surfaces, sturdy construction and ergonomic designs to prevent accidents and injuries.
  • Assess Durability and Longevity: Invest in furniture that is built to last. Consider the durability of materials, warranties offered by the manufacturer and the reputation for longevity of their products. American manufactured products have long been associated with quality.  When you purchase cheaply made products manufactured in regions with low standards and a poorly trained workforce, you are subjecting yourself to lower quality products which may not last as long and end up costing you more in the long run.
  • Evaluate Ergonomics: Comfortable and ergonomically designed furniture can enhance student productivity and reduce fatigue during lab activities. Look for features such as adjustable heights, supportive seating and proper workstation layouts.
  • Review Past Projects and Client Testimonials: Research the manufacturer's track record by reviewing past projects and client testimonials. This can give you insight into their reliability, customer satisfaction and ability to deliver on their promises.
  • Consider Sustainability Practices: Choose a manufacturer that prioritizes sustainability and eco-friendly practices in their production processes. Look for certifications such as Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification for wood products or GreenGuard certification for indoor air quality.
  • Evaluate Cost and Value: While cost is an important factor, prioritize value over price alone. Consider the long-term benefits and return on investment provided by high-quality, durable furniture that meets your needs and enhances the learning environment.
  • Seek Recommendations and References: Ask for recommendations from other educational institutions or industry professionals who have experience working with school science lab furniture manufacturers. Their insights and recommendations can help you make an informed decision.
  • Engage in Direct Communication: Reach out to the manufacturer directly to discuss your specific requirements, ask questions, and clarify any concerns you may have. Direct communication can help ensure that your needs are understood and addressed effectively.
  • Ask about Manufacturing Lead Times: One of the most important questions that purchasers ask is...when will my furniture arrive? Shorter lead times are one of THE primary benefits of working with a domestic manufacturer of your lab furniture. Once your order is placed and the product is manufactured, the order should be delivered to your facility quickly when and where you need it with a local or domestic transport company.


By following these tips, you can select a specialized manufacturer experienced in science lab furniture for schools that will help create a safe, functional and innovative learning environment for your students.



Other Important Factors To Consider



One of the most important factors to consider is your ability to customize any lab furniture that you order from a manufacturer. 


For example, if your lab focuses on subjects like biology and chemistry, you’ll need to choose lab countertops that can withstand chemicals, fungus, cleaning agents and other harsh substances. Materials you may consider include phenolic resin, epoxy resin or chemical laminate. If your lab focuses more on technology, HPL laminate may be the better option.


Your lab design may also need proper storage for laboratory equipment like microscopes, glassware and chemicals.


Think about the layout and accessibility of these storage units to facilitate the easy retrieval of items during experiments and lab sessions. Proper organization not only enhances safety but also promotes productivity by reducing clutter and streamlining the workflow.


Consider the integration of modern technology into your lab furniture design. Incorporating features such as built-in power outlets, data ports and cable management systems can support the use of today’s electronic devices and ensure a clean and organized workspace.


Lastly, don't overlook the importance of flexibility in your lab furniture design. Choose modular furniture options that can be easily reconfigured to adapt to changing teaching methods, curriculum requirements and technological advancements. This flexibility allows you to maximize the use of space and accommodate evolving educational needs over time.



Look Beyond Price



Although budget is sure to be an important consideration when choosing furniture for a school lab, selecting the right manufacturer also means looking beyond price. 


Product quality, predictable lead times and the ability to customize when needed are all factors that should be considered to ensure that your project is completed on time and with a minimum of hassles.


It’s important that these purchases stand the test of time. The public is expecting you to get it right with the funds that they are entrusting you to invest.


buying american made lab furniture

Topics: American Made, Laboratory Furniture

WSI Team

Written by WSI Team

Employees of Workstation Industries who write on different topics to inform and educate.

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