Science Labs are usually setup for purely academic projects. In contrast, Tinkering Lab is not for any specific subject or topic, but is for a wide range of experiences, including science.
Some major differences are as follows:
- Science Labs are designed for guided experimenting.
- Tinkering Labs are for open-ended experimenting, with no single solution.
- Science Labs are may have expensive or fragile equipment.
- Tinkering Labs have equipment appropriate to the age of the intended students so that they can tinker without the fear of damaging equipment.
- Science Labs may have dangerous material.
- Tinkering Lab material is age appropriate. The danger in any material or tool is planned for unsupervised use. Some tolerance to getting hurt is expected.
- Science Labs activities correspond to topics in text books.
- Tinkering Labs are more intended towards life and creative skills. The skills developed in Tinkering Labs may or may not directly help academics, but indirect advantage is most certainly observed.
- Science Labs have a static design.
- Tinkering Labs are intended to evolve with the institution. Even to start with, the design and setup of the Tinkering Lab varies from institution to institution, based on a number of factors. Even something as simple as availability of outdoor space makes a big difference to the setup of a Tinkering Lab.