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  • Writer's pictureDaniel Cao

Budget planning for setting up electronics lab in high school classrooms

Updated: Sep 12

In our previous articles we emphasized the benefits of utilizing affordable and portable gadgets to equip spaces that lack advanced facilities and expert maintenance, such as small academies, school classrooms, and remote learning setups, which have limited budgets. Now let us take a closer look at the budgets planning in average schools and calculate some numbers. We use our products and tools by default.

Statistically, the average classroom size in Canadian secondary schools is around 23 students per class whereas in the US this number is 25 students per class. For simplicity we count 24 students per classroom across North America. We will also make realistic assumptions that students don’t take laptops or tablets to class and there are no individual power outlets available for each bench to support the use of benchtop instruments.


We also make assumptions that you want each student to have a set of gear where they all have the equal opportunity for hands-on work with trial and error process. Another benefit of having their own devices is that students can bring them home for extra-curriculum or hobby learning; you can also set up hybrid-remote workshops when needed.


With some assumptions, now it comes to the budget.

Budgets can vary across school districts or communities, and it's a delicate balancing act to achieve the desired outcomes within the available budget. If you are a new tech teacher looking for some ideas to build your classroom workshop, our products and educational contents may help you find a fitting solution that fits your expectations and budgets.

Budget of C$2000

This means the average budget for each student is $83.

With a good spending plan, this budget may still come with useful tools and kits particularly for the beginning level students. Here are some suggestions:

● The first device you do need is a multimeter, which handles a lot of testing and measurement work such as determining voltages, currents, resistances and conductivity.

● You also need some basic components such as resistors, bulbs, wires and switches, to learn the most fundamental concepts such as open/closed loop, Ohm’s law, series/parallel circuits and Watt’s Law.

● A breadboard is a great circuiting platform that gives you excellent flexibility for prototyping and testing circuits.

● You also need some jumper wires to connect components and build circuit

● Some battery holders are also needed to generate basic voltage sources

Using our “Laboratory Manual to Accompany Basic Electric Circuits” as example, this budget allows each of your student start off from fundamentals and build up experiential learning with physical components and circuits.

Laboratory Manual to Accompany Basic Electric Circuits by EIM Technology
Laboratory Manual to Accompany Basic Electric Circuits by EIM Technology

In summary, with $2000 budget plan, you can turn the classroom into a simple electronics lab that allows each student hands-on working with elementary electronics components and circuits, and here is the bill of material list:

● Digital multimeter

● Breadboard

● Elementary components (resistors, bulbs, switches)

● Jumper wires

● Battery holders

However, keep in mind that dry batteries may drain off soon in classroom settings, so you will also need to consider the cost of battery replacement and disposal.


Budget of C$4000

By doubling the budget to $166 for each student, it gives more flexibility that allows you to upgrade the gears and cover more in-depth topics in electronics. Here is our suggestions:

● Upgrade battery holders to MEGO breadboard power supply, which allows voltage adjustment and you do not need recycle lots of waste batteries;

● Use single core hookup wires to build neater circuits

● Include more components such as more resistors, capacitors and inductors to study complicated circuit

With a more professional power supply and more components allow students investigate more sophisticated DC circuits and use experimental methods to study complex concepts such as kirchoff’s laws, circuit analysis techniques and RC circuits

Laboratory Manual to Accompany Basic Electric Circuits
Laboratory Manual to Accompany Basic Electric Circuits by EIM Technology

In summary, with a $4000 budget plan, the most important upgrade you want to make is to replace batteries with a durable breadboard power supply and add different types of components to build more complicated circuits.

● Breadboard power supply

● Digital multimeter

● Breadboard

● Intermediate components (resistors, bulbs, switches, capacitors, inductors)

● Hookup wires

This option is also what we see most of our partnered schools would like to choose and think of as a good fit to the curriculum and classroom workshop management.

See DC Lab solution for more product details.


Budget of C$8000

With a $333 budget for each student, it is possible to set up a really good electronics lab in a classroom with our low cost and portable devices.

● Adding a function generator and an oscilloscope (Zoolark multifunctional debugger) that allows students to investigate more advanced topics in AC signals, waveform, math and physics related topics…

● Add more building-involved projects such as motor driver, solar panel, wind turbine…that gives more tangible aspects of learning

● Include more components such as more diodes, LEDs, transistors, Operational amplifiers and motors

These equipment, tools and materials may cover the essential aspects of learning electronics and help students to become more prepared for future academic and career development. You not only can cover all topics in the typical contents, but also have some extra budgets for some real-life related projects such as wind generator, earthquake detector, solar panel, motor driver circuit…

Laboratory Manual to Accompany Basic Electric Circuits by EIM Technology

EIM Technology tutorial - learn electronics

In summary, by doubling the budget from $4000 to $8000, you can equip students with function generators and oscilloscopes that help them discover AC related topics and microelectronics components such as semiconductors and integrated circuits.

● Function generator

● Oscilloscope

● Breadboard power supply

● Digital multimeter

● Breadboard

● Advanced components (resistors, bulbs, switches, capacitors, inductors, diodes, transistors, Operational Amplifiers, motors)

● Hookup wires

● Five building involved hardware project kits

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