Whether you're a high school chemistry teacher, or a parent wanting to teach science concepts at home, you'll need to invest in a good balance, like one from Strack Scale Services. Balances help to teach the concept of weight vs. mass and facilitate accurate measuring for substances in chemistry and physics lessons. Here are some tips for choosing the best balance for your classroom.
Type of Balance
There are three basic types of balances for classroom use, and each have pros and cons.
- The double-pan balance: This balance has a pan on each side and requires the use of a mass set. Students use the pieces of the mass set to balance an item of unknown mass and determine its mass within a certain accuracy. This type of balance works best for younger children because it helps them visualize the concept of mass. The accuracy ranges from 0.5 gram to 0.1 gram.
- The triple-beam balance: This is a great option for middle school and high school if you are looking for a mechanical (not digital) balance. Triple-beam balances have high sensitivity (up to 0.01 gram) and can handle heavier loads than double-pan balances. Triple-beam balances are generally more durable than digital balances.
- The digital balance: Digital balances should only be used by older students who are working on more sophisticated projects that require a great deal of sensitivity. Digital balance capacities range from 200 grams to 2000 grams and accuracy is usually around .01 gram. Digital balances are more easily damaged and should not be used by inexperienced or careless students.
Other Factors to Consider
In addition to the type of balance, here are some other factors to consider before you make a purchase:
- Overload protection: Kids can be careless, no matter the age. If too much mass is placed on a balance, it could break the sensitive equipment inside and render the balance useless. Consider purchasing a balance with overload protection to help kids know when too much mass has been placed on the balance.
- Warranty: If you're purchasing a more expensive balance, look for one with a warranty. This will help protect your investment through the years as your balance gets used and abused by many students.
- Curriculum: There are many standard science curricula that require the use of a specific type or brand of balance. Be sure you are familiar with what your curriculum teaches and purchase a balance that fits.
Purchasing a balance for your classroom may seem like a simple task, but there are many factors to consider. Use the tips discussed here to help you find the perfect balance for your classroom and give your students the hands-on learning atmosphere they need.