Science Major: Supplies You Need To Make Sure You Have

Written by  //  2014/03/19  //  Academics  //  Comments Off on Science Major: Supplies You Need To Make Sure You Have

Whether you’re interested in microscopic bacteria or huge planetary nebula, you’ll want to make sure you’re well-prepared for the rigors of scientific study on a college level. Here are five essential supplies for the future Einstein.

Laptop

No science major can survive in the 21st century without a laptop. Not only will it become your best friend for taking notes and logging data, but with the world changing every day, it’s critical that you have steady, reliable Internet access to keep yourself appraised of new developments and breakthroughs in your field. A good laptop is an investment that will last through your bachelor’s degree and well into grad school.

Calculator

If you took advanced classes in high school, you probably already have a TI-83 or TI-84 calculator, and the good news is that you can use these for college-level courses as well. The bad news is that you may not be allowed. Particularly for calculus, many professors ban graphing calculators out of fear that students will overly rely on them for functions and limits. Make sure your number-cruncher is cleared with your teacher before the first test.

Microscope

Not all microscopes are created equal, so you may need to shop around for different kinds based on your area of study. For example, basic stereo microscopes are good enough for chemistry majors, but you’ll probably need compound biological microscopes if you plan to pursue a career in biology. It all depends on your magnification and focus requirements.

Recording Devices

Regardless of your major, all scientific study revolves around the acquisition and analysis of data. You’ll need to be ready to take notes in a variety of formats, including longhand and through electronic means. Smartphones are great for recording quick observations; flash drives provide an easy way to share information with lab partners; notepads will save your life when something unexpectedly explodes and you need to quickly jot down its reactions.

Safety Equipment

Don’t expect to walk into a lab without any of the required safety equipment. Many professors will stop you right at the door if you aren’t wearing goggles, gloves or closed-toe shoes. Damage isn’t tolerated either; things like holes and stains make it dangerous for you to operate at the counter without full visual acuity and range of motion. Be smart. Be prepared.

These are just five of the tools you should already have before attempting college-level scientific study. If you really want to make it as a leader and thinker of tomorrow, the groundwork should be laid now.

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