Lab stations


  • There are several reasons for dividing a laboratory activity into smaller parts, including
  • • limited equipment and supplies
  • • discrete activities lead to a larger understanding
  • • classroom management

  • For example, in Resource 1, the teacher assumes students are already familiar with microscope use, and each station is set up to look at a different object. Students rotate throughout the classroom, looking at each station and recording data in their notebooks.

  • Another approach is the basket lab (described in Science Scope, February 2007, page 61): all materials required for an activity are stored in small, labeled baskets that can be delivered to students. Students remain in their seats; as the teacher distributes material he/she can check for understanding.

  • Classroom management differs between the two approaches, but in each case, you need to
  • • write specific directions on what students should do and observe
  • • be clear on what information needs to be recorded.


  • LabStationsExample.gif


  1. Microscope Mania (series of activities for a middle school classroom)
  2. Ocean World Lab Stations (description and generic station set up)
  3. Two examples of lab stations that have not yet been adapted for Interactive Notebooks (Newton's First Law and Evidence for Chemical Change): , and one that has (Properties of Waves):