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Gratnells has published two special reports aimed at helping architects involved in either refurbishment or new builds of school science areas improve their Prep Room and Science Lab design capabilities.

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Over the last few years, the role of science teaching in secondary schools has been a major focus of attention for both government and leading science bodies. Many have voiced concern that without improvements in the practice of teaching science and the science curriculum – especially learning environments – children would not meet the desired high levels of interest and achievement in science. A lack of knowledge and experience in Prep Room and Science Lab design is the cause of a great deal of poor or ineffective approaches that create numerous working difficulties for many Science Technicians and downgrades the service that they can provide for pupils’ science education.

Using data from bodies such as the Royal Society of Chemistry, these reports highlight the seriousness of insufficient attention paid to secondary school science areas where, for example, 21% of Prep Rooms are described as poor, with 43% at only a basic level.

Significant and costly mistakes have been made, resulting not only in hundreds of thousands of pounds of inadequate designs, but also posing some serious risks to health and safety, Architects and designers risk their professional reputations, and the school science departments face dismal working conditions if vital Prep Room and Science Lab issues are not addressed. We believe our special reports are a tremendous step forward in helping architects to design and build Prep Rooms and Science Labs that are efficient, effective – and enhance an essential area of science education.

critical thinking essay writing and Science Labs in Secondary Schools: Recommended Science Lab standards for architects and designers are both available as free downloads from

Ready to experiment?

One of our customers recently exhibited at the BFE MENA Educational Exhibition 2010 held in Abu Dhabi.  We were (as always) very interested to see a photo of Gratnells products in situ.  Building Future Education MENA  was a free-to-attend exhibition and conference covering educational facilities, management, reform, investment and operation of all educational institutes and programmes in the MENA region.  The exhibition covered crèches and nurseries, schools, colleges, universities, research, and training centres.  Over 3000 visitors attended from the Middle East and further afield.

If you have any pictures of Gratnells products in classroom or exhibition settings please send them to us – we would love to see them.

Building Future Education MENA was held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre on November 21-22 2010. The show was co-located with BETT Middle East Conference and Exhibition in Abu Dhabi

2011 off with a bang at the ASE Science conference.

Stand up straight, boys!

While most people ease into the New Year gently, here at Gratnells it starts with a bang. The lovely people at ASE, The Association for Science Education choose the first week in January to hold their annual conference and exhibition that goes with it. We launched our tray storage system at the conference in 1972 and have been back every year since. Apparently back then, it started on New Year’s day, before they introduced a Bank Holiday, so I really shouldn’t be moaning about the timing!  The show this year at Reading felt much better attended than the show last year which was badly struck by the snow. Our roving reps Peter and David helped man the stand which had a steady flow of customers. More to come, including the tarantula that lives in one of our trays. Honest!

Here’s one I made earlier

Most wooden school furniture is delivered ready assembled – but sometimes there is a need to be able to deliver furniture as a flat-pack, expecially when delivering overseas, or when there are cost issues involved.  We teamed up with one leading wooden furniture manufacturer to demonstrate how you could deliver self -assembly furniture with Gratnells trays.  The most practical way is to have the trays boxed separately from the unit, shelves and runners.

You can view the guide here:  Flat_Pack Guide or on the trade section of our website

The Gratnells Roadshow

This week I am in Reading for the Annual ASE Conference and Exhibition.

It’s the Association for Science Education (ASE)’s flagship event held every January at a university in the UK, incorporating the most extensive Science Education Exhibition in Europe.  The ASE Annual Conference is for everyone involved in science education – teachers, technicians, advisors, or simply anyone who is interested in science education.

This year’s theme is about ASE’s leading role in the changing science education climate – STEM, Science for All, Science and Technology in Society, Science for Life, Getting Practical. The exhibition showcases the latest resources for making science accessible to young people.  Come and see us on stand number CS60 if you are nearby.  For the first time at the Annual Conference there is a special FREE EXHIBITION ENTRY ONLY opportunity to those only interested in attending the exhibition. So you can come and visit us even if you are not attending the Conference, we would love to see you.

Our stand design

The Conference runs from Wednesday 5th to Saturday 8th January and the Exhibition is open from 8.30am to 6 pm on Thursday and Friday, and 8.30 am to 3pm on Saturday at the University of Reading.  Our stand is CS60.