How to Design a Home Economics Foods Laboratory
Home economics food laboratories teach students the value of nutritional choices, food and kitchen safety and how to cook foods. To effectively teach students, the home economics laboratory must be designed to provide students with practical cooking space, room to prepare foods and space to store utensils, such as pots and knives. Designing a home economics laboratory will take several attempts at configuring tools and equipment into an organized, functional layout that will have lasting value.
Measure, using the measuring tape, the perimeter of the room or space in which the foods laboratory will be located. Measure the height of the walls from floor to ceiling as well. Write down the measurements. Measuring the lab space will prepare you for configuration of the lab design to include lab equipment.
Draw in pencil a scaled map of the perimeter of the lab space on the graph paper. Allocate five graph boxes per foot of space.
Locate the electrical outlets available in the space. Assess whether any additional outlets can be added or if the design must accommodate the outlets currently available. Draw the current outlets onto the graph paper in accordance with their location. Additional outlets can be added to the design later in the process, if possible.
Estimate the maximum number of students the lab will need to accommodate. Estimate the number of stoves, refrigerators, sinks, cabinets, drawers and tables needed to provide students the opportunity to participate individually or in groups.
Measure the height and width of a stove, sink and refrigerator that will be used in the home economics laboratory. If the equipment has not already been purchased, visit a local appliance retailer for options. Small stove ranges and refrigerators are ideal for home economics laboratories since they do not need to provide full kitchen accommodations. Tables and cabinets can be built or purchased later to fit remaining dimensions in the room. Note measurements.
Draw a stove or multiple stoves onto the graph paper. Stoves can be placed along the walls for best use of the room. Or they may be placed in the center of the room as a quad, to avoid the use of separating counter space. If outlets will allow, place counter space between separate stoves to allow students to gather in groups to watch the cooking process without getting injured.
Draw a refrigerator in a corner where students can have access to contents one at a time.
Pencil in drawers and cabinets where classroom utensils can be kept underneath the counters between the ovens. Cabinet space can also be added above eye level for more storage.
Pencil in a washing station where a sink for hand and dishwashing can be placed, along with an adjoining counter for a dish drying rack or a dishwasher underneath.
Allocate space for 10 or fewer laboratory tables where students can take notes and prepare food. The tables should accommodate four students each. Tables can be set up in two columns to maximize space. Alternatively, pencil table space in as a counter space on an available wall.