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ERIC Number: EJ1171443
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Mar
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-2158-0502
A Well-Maintained Lab Is a Safer Lab
Walls, William H.; Strimel, Greg J.
Technology and Engineering Teacher, v77 n6 p16-19 Mar 2018
Administration and funding can cause Engineering/Technology Education (ETE) programs to thrive or die. To administrators, the production/prototyping equipment and laboratory setting are often viewed as the features that set ETE apart from other school subjects. A lab is a unique gift as well as a responsibility. If an administrator can see that the lab space is not properly maintained, then instruction and classroom management may come into question. Moreover, if a student is injured while using equipment that is not functioning properly, then the school and/or the teacher can be held liable for the incident (Love, 2014). Therefore, teachers should have maintenance plans established that document the use, routine and preventive maintenance, repair schedule, work order and receipt, and contingency plan for the different equipment throughout the ETE laboratory (Meeks, 1976). ETE labs, as well as the equipment in them, need to be properly maintained to foster a safer hands-on learning environment. Proper lab maintenance plans can differ between schools and even classrooms due to differences in equipment, physical space, and students. However, even as technologies and learning environments evolve, it is important to understand the role of routine and preventative maintenance in the safety of students and teachers alike. Getting students involved with maintaining a safer laboratory can provide instructors with extra support to identify and address broken or defective equipment, as well as establish good practices for students in future work environments. While students or teachers should not be solely responsible for the maintenance of the laboratory, they all must contribute. A carefully developed maintenance plan can involve students, promote respectable workplace practices amongst pupils, help ensure a well-functioning laboratory, and establish a paper trail of equipment maintenance and repair, thereby mitigating risk and sustaining a safer, more effective learning environment. This article will discuss the role of maintenance in the ETE laboratory, describe routine and preventive maintenance, and detail support for the creation of a student-centered/teacher-supervised maintenance plan.
International Technology and Engineering Educators Association. 1914 Association Drive Suite 201, Reston, VA 20191-1539. Tel: 703-860-2100; Fax: 703-860-0353; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A