Laboratory experiences give biology students opportunities to develop a scientific approach to answering life’s most interesting questions. Time spent in structured investigation in the laboratory reinforces concepts learned in the classroom. Modern Biology provides the specialized equipment and reagents students need to conduct laboratory investigations, but every lab needs these 20 basics.

Students in labs need PPE, such as face shields. They need brushes for everyday cleaning, since clean glassware yields more accurate results. They need Bunsen burners or hot plates (see below), magnifying glasses, droppers, and tongs. But they also need basic laboratory equipment involving a modest capital investment.

Microscopes. Every biology student needs to become proficient in microscopy. A simple light microscope with adjustable lenses is the place to start learning,

Scales. Determination of weight is fundamental to the calculation of mass, molarity, molality, and concentration used in a multitude of basic biology experiments. Students need to learn how to use scales to make solutions from the reagents that their school supplies. But sometimes even a very affordable laboratory scale is adequate. If your budget is limited, you may prefer portable laboratory balances.

Test tubes. No biology lab can function without test tubes. The size biology labs most commonly use is 18 x 150 mm. Test tubes are indispensable for mixing reagents, holding samples, and observing chemical and biological reactions.

Beakers. Beakers are cylindrical containers, usually made from glass. Beakers come in sizes ranging from 10 ml to 20 liters, but the most commonly used sizes are 250 ml and 500 ml.

Volumetric flasks. Volumetric flasks are easy to recognize by the large, bulbous body on the bottom, and the long, narrow neck, easily closed with a stopper. Some volumetric flasks are graduated, so students can measure how much liquid is in the flask. Volumetric flasks are also useful for storing liquids and for incubating biological materials.

Thermometers. Chemical reactions occur at different rates at different temperatures, and at some temperatures, they don’t occur at all. Reagent solutions and electrophoresis gels have to be made within a tight temperature range. In addition to a selection of thermometers, your lab can also benefit from digital and analog hot plates with stirrers for controlled chemical reactions and for making solutions of precise concentration.

Burettes. Titration requires burettes. These long, thin tubes deliver precise amounts of liquid into containers placed beneath them.

Funnels. Funnels assist in pouring liquids into test tubes, flasks, and Erlenmeyer beakers. There are thistle, filter, and dripping funnels.

Incubators. Up-to-date curricula for modern biology include experiments that require maintaining live organisms at a steady temperature. Incubators provide an enclosed space kept at a constant temperature warmer or cooler than room air around the incubator.

Electrophoresis equipment. Electrophoresis gives students a kinesthetic experience that helps them understand basic concepts of molecular biology. Electrophoresis chambers from Modern Biology can accommodate one or two up to six lab teams running up 16 samples and controls each at the same time. Modern Biology also offers a vertical electrophoresis unit that runs two or more precast polyacrylamide gels.

Centrifuges. Centrifuges are essential tools of cell fractionation. They are necessary whenever young scientists need to separate particles of different sizes from a solution. Modern Biology offers centrifuges that accommodate multiple samples at a range of speeds.

Once you get the basics for your laboratory, Modern Biology supplies the rest. Our prepackaged experiments provide experimental materials, controls, and reagents boxed together at an affordable price.

Each experiment is designed to give your students a chance to formulate a hypothesis and test it in the lab, record their notes, and write a summary. All of our reagents and equipment are non-toxic and meet all state codes for student safety.

Over 80,000 teachers use Modern Biology. Let us show you why. Email us with your questions today!