Our Wiki are is a fantastic area that allows you to place your technician experience and knowledge in an web environment that is easily searchable by everybody across the world. It allows you to help your fellow professional colleagues by passing on what you know about doing your job or perhaps your specialised experience on a topic. Here are some example of colleagues who have contributed to our Wiki. You are invited to try it out now for yourself.

Aluminium foil strip is used to create a speaker.
This is a simple to construct example of the motion of a conductor in a magnetic field.
It is useful to illustrate electromagnetic induction or sound waves. It may also be of sufficient interest to act as an open-day idea as the students are often impressed with the simplicity of the set-up.
This is more likely to be used as a demo.

A barometer is an instrument for measuring atmospheric pressure.

The offending item, a rather poor photo of the 'as found' state, standing at just over a metre tall the barometer was intact, all apart from the glass column being broken. The reservoir was still full of mercury, and this was probably why it had escaped the dustbin. Nobody had been bothered to empty it for disposal, so it spent years hidden behind a cupboard until my discovery. The main body of the barometer was removed from its backing board, and after removing 4 very small brass screws the protective casing around the column was removed. This revealed that the glass column was, indeed, broken and would need to be replaced.

After breakage of our official Hero's engine, I decided to try a cheaper version.

First, take one 330 ml drinks can. Over a sink, make two holes in opposite sides with an optical pin (or other long pin/needle). Bend the holes with the pin so the vents are opposing. This rough sketch shows you how to shape them. DO NOT open the can using the ring pull. Other than the two holes, the can must remain a sealed vessel.

One of the sharp changes to this academic year is how different schools are approaching Practical Science. Many Schools are "playing safe" and simply doing demo versions of each practical, while some are doing nothing at all! A few have taken the plunge, carried out the appropriate risk management and put in place good housekeeping and control measure and are satisfactorily doing at or close to their normal practical work.

ASE has published key recommendations for practical science in a post-lockdown world. It is called “Good Practical Science - making it happen post-Covid-19”. It features a series of key recommendations that ASE urge all science educators to consider in light of the current issues that all schools are currently facing.

Many of the teachers and technicians surveyed (about 900 in total) were not satisfied with their school or college provision for practical work during lockdown. Many were anticipating a big reduction in the frequency of practical work when schools reopened, with perhaps as much as 20% of examination classes (GSCE and A level) experiencing no practical science at all.

This document should be read alongside CLEAPSS GL343 and other associated CLEAPSS documents

Download the document from here - http://ow.ly/dDk850BobYF

Job vacancy for an experienced school chemistry Technician at Burgess Hill Girls, West Sussex.
Closing date 16/9/20. Lovely school and chemistry department. Please see link below for details.


Every technician will have their own method of removing stubborn stoppers from glassware, for example, a volumetric flask. Here are a few ideas; The usual safety considerations should be observed. Make sure that you are wearing appropriate ppe gear like heavy duty gloves. Glassware that shatters can cut or lacerate the skin. So make sure that you exercise a higher degree of care in terms of mounting or holding the glassware in your hand before attempting to remove any stuck stopper. Be aware of remedial measure in the event of any accidents due to cuts.


  • If stoppers etc are stuck in glassware, spray a little WD40 into a small beaker then using a pipette put some on the joint and let it soak in. Usually that usually loosens stoppers.
  • Alternatively, If it is the type of plastic stopper that volumetric flasks use try turning it the other way. When you put them in you give them a slight turn to lock them, turning them the other way unlocks them. I picked that tip up from someplace in the past.
  • If you don't mind destroying your stopper then, if it a plastic stopper, you can drill it out as a last resort. A number of small holes joined up to give one big hole. Then use a pad saw to cut a slice out.
  • If somebody has been stupid enough to place a glass stopper in a bottle of alkali then a few drops of dilute acid in place of WD40 might work.
  • Run the stopper/flask under a hot tap for a few minutes, the heat might just expand the flask enough to loosen the stopper.
  • Gently tap a glass stopper with another glass stopper, the shock sometimes loosens it.
  • If the glass tap of a separating funnel or the plunger and shaft of a glass gas syringe becomes stuck together, place the dried item in a sealed plastic bag and place in the freezer for at least an hour. Let it be for a minute after removing it from the freezer, then the contraction of the cold glass should be just enough to allow you to gently free the tap or syringe. (It may be advisable to wear safety spec and gloves in case of breakage but I have not had one yet)

CLEAPSS has developed a new virtual inset session covering the latest CLEAPSS guidance on how best to manage practical work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 1.5hr training sessions can be run at any time of the day but are ideal for Twilight sessions. The course will focus on how practical is possible, and also how to manage issues which are created by the pandemic.

It is led by those who wrote and manage the CLEAPSS COVID-19 guidance, so it will also provide a greater insight into the reasons behind the latest guidance. It will also include time for a Q&A.

The course costs £250 and will be delivered via Zoom.  Each course can have a maximum of 30 particpants. Please contact us for more information or to book a course. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

TecHKnow Wiki allows any registered member to place knowledge or specialised information in one or more connected web pages, using nothing more than word-processing know-how.

As you know, the most well-known example is Wikipedia. Wikis are a way to grow a knowledge base around a particular content area, be it best practices in a particular science or technical field, how to do a particular practical or how to build or use a specific piece of equipment.  Those are just some examples.  TecHKnow Wiki allows you to be the author of your knowledge or article. Your article is searchable across the world and as well as helping School Science Colleagues, the TecHKnow wiki has also been searched by third level educational establishments and indeed other people across the world.

So if you have ever thought of authoring an article that could be helpful or informative were you can demonstrate the full extent of your professional or industrial experience then we are here just for that. Check out the wiki area right now.

A separate registration to your normal TecHKnow user login is needed.  Dive in and create your first article today!


The Covid-19 crisis has touched on all aspects of school life and across all subject areas. As an intrinsically practical subject, science education has been particularly impacted by school closures, with difficulties in carrying out practical work set to continue as schools and colleges return.

The ASE is committed to championing the role of 'hands-on, minds-on' practical science both through the current crisis and in the future, and given that more than 1,200 educators joined our special webinar on the subject last week, it is clear that many of you are too. 

The next stage of that ongoing commitment is to canvas our members' opinions and experiences through a survey. This survey has three purposes:

- To inform ASE, Gatsby and other stakeholders of teacher and technician views on the opportunities and challenges for carrying out practical work as schools open to more students and throughout the next academic year

- To inform related activities and responses by ASE, Gatsby and other stakeholders

- To provide evidence for the Education Select Committee Inquiry response (on the impact of covid-19 on education and children’s services)

We invite you to take part in this survey which should take no longer than 15-20 minutes. No information will be collected which identifies you or your school/college, and all information will be used for the purposes of this exercise only.

Your opinion is extremely valuable to us, please lend us your voice and help shape the experience of delivering quality practical science experiences for pupils from September and beyond... 

The deadline for survey submission is 9am on Monday 6th July 2020

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