Sinks in German classrooms?

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jmorgan3
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Sinks in German classrooms?

Postby jmorgan3 » Fri Nov 18, 2011 6:30 am UTC

Just a quick question for any Teutonic xkcdians: do German (university) classrooms commonly have sinks? If so, what are they used for?

I ask because, in class today, my German professor (he's from Germany; he doesn't teach German) bemoaned the lack of sinks in American classrooms and I'm not sure why.
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Re: Sinks in German classrooms?

Postby Euler » Sun Nov 20, 2011 5:32 am UTC

Well, speaking from a Canadian perspective, every classroom in every school I've been to has had a sink.
I am actually surprised that this is not the case in the USA.

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Re: Sinks in German classrooms?

Postby Microscopic cog » Sun Nov 20, 2011 3:58 pm UTC

But...why?

I understand sinks for classrooms specifically designed for subjects like Chemistry, Physics or Biology, but why should a regular university classroom have a sink?
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Re: Sinks in German classrooms?

Postby poxic » Sun Nov 20, 2011 8:05 pm UTC

Water balloons. Duh.

It might have do with expecting a classroom to have multiple uses -- not just language and math, but things for which teachers may need to wash their hands. Come to think of it, I'd imagine even a math teacher would want to wash off the chalk or dry-erase marker now and then.
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Re: Sinks in German classrooms?

Postby scienceroboticspunk » Mon Nov 21, 2011 10:54 pm UTC

At my school, in the united states, outside of the sciences and the arts only two classrooms have sinks. These rooms are the metal shop and the wood shop. I dont understand why normal classrooms would need a sink though.
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Re: Sinks in German classrooms?

Postby delibelly » Tue Nov 22, 2011 3:55 am UTC

In elementary school most of my classrooms had sinks, which is smart, given how messy kids are. I suppose they don't consider it very cost-effective here (in America). It's ...not necessary, but it sure would be a lot more convenient.

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Re: Sinks in German classrooms?

Postby Jorpho » Sat Nov 26, 2011 6:45 am UTC

I dimly recall that numerous classrooms in my Canadian high school had sinks, for no particularly good reason that I ever knew. Arts and Crafts?

I imagine leaving them out would save considerable costs, especially if miscreants get in the habit of stopping up the drains and causing floods.

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Re: Sinks in German classrooms?

Postby poxic » Sat Nov 26, 2011 6:51 am UTC

Kids make messes? That teachers need to clean up? Could be an option.
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Re: Sinks in German classrooms?

Postby mjlm » Sun Nov 27, 2011 1:43 pm UTC

Well, one reason is that, at least in Germany, schools and universities still predominantly use black boards and chalk, so you need water to wipe them.

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Re: Sinks in German classrooms?

Postby ruleeet » Wed Dec 07, 2011 3:36 pm UTC

mjlm wrote:Well, one reason is that, at least in Germany, schools and universities still predominantly use black boards and chalk, so you need water to wipe them.

Agree. And it's not only in Germany where chalk and blackboards are used. So it's absolutely normal.

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Re: Sinks in German classrooms?

Postby AvatarIII » Wed Dec 07, 2011 4:56 pm UTC

I think we had pretty much replaced chalk on black with dry wipe on white in the uk by the time I started school 20 years ago. Black boards feel ancient to me.

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Re: Sinks in German classrooms?

Postby EvanED » Thu Dec 08, 2011 1:39 am UTC

Huh, interesting. I've been in very very few actual classrooms (be it in high school, undergrad, or grad) that have dry-erase boards. They're common in offices and conference rooms, but classrooms still stick to the chalkboards. (I assume this is some combination of it being low benefit and relatively high cost to replace existing stuff that works, and dry erase markers being much more likely to wander off.)

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Re: Sinks in German classrooms?

Postby Jorpho » Thu Dec 08, 2011 2:27 am UTC

I was thinking the big problem with dry erase boards was the bother of keeping them clean. Sooner or later, there's always someone who makes the mistake of whipping out a permanent marker. And yes, there are ways to clean that off – but no one ever has it handy.

I have the impression that the porcelain boards are easier to keep clean, but they're much more expensive than melamine.

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Re: Sinks in German classrooms?

Postby poxic » Thu Dec 08, 2011 2:43 am UTC

Porcelain boards? In classrooms? Classrooms with children? Rambunctious, horsing-around, stuff-throwing children?

...

I'm just going to go ahead and assume that someone has, indeed, thought their clever plan all the way through and that they aren't as fragile as they sound. The boards, that is. Or the children, whichever.
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Re: Sinks in German classrooms?

Postby Jorpho » Thu Dec 08, 2011 2:46 am UTC

Oh, no more fragile than actual blackboards, I reckon.

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Re: Sinks in German classrooms?

Postby Proginoskes » Thu Dec 08, 2011 7:25 am UTC

mjlm wrote:Well, one reason is that, at least in Germany, schools and universities still predominantly use black boards and chalk, so you need water to wipe them.


I don't.

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Re: Sinks in German classrooms?

Postby Zamfir » Thu Dec 08, 2011 8:52 am UTC

I am surprised people consider whiteboards such an obvious improvement. I personally far prefer to use a blackboard than a whiteboard, especially in a larger class. Blackboards have better contrast, thicker lines, and they encourage you to write and draw in large, not too hasty movements. It takes a bit of skill to use them, but the result is better.

While, IMO, whiteboards or much better suited to small environments, like a few people brainstorming in a room. So you can walk to the board and make a few quick sketches or comments.

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Re: Sinks in German classrooms?

Postby AvatarIII » Thu Dec 08, 2011 9:27 am UTC

my guess is that it's a health and safety thing, people were probably complaining about the dust. I don't know.

It seems kind of ironic that where I live turned to white boards so quickly, I live in one of the most concentrated areas of natural chalk, although the chalk we have is too soft and wet for industrial use, perhaps kids were ruining chalk boards by writing on them with our local chalk.

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Re: Sinks in German classrooms?

Postby KestrelLowing » Thu Dec 08, 2011 3:59 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:I am surprised people consider whiteboards such an obvious improvement. I personally far prefer to use a blackboard than a whiteboard, especially in a larger class. Blackboards have better contrast, thicker lines, and they encourage you to write and draw in large, not too hasty movements. It takes a bit of skill to use them, but the result is better.

While, IMO, whiteboards or much better suited to small environments, like a few people brainstorming in a room. So you can walk to the board and make a few quick sketches or comments.


I've actually found for me that the contrast seems to be better on a white board - unless they use a horrible color marker. For some reason, people never make the marks dark enough (thankfully, because otherwise it squeaks!)

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Re: Sinks in German classrooms?

Postby Adacore » Fri Dec 09, 2011 12:58 am UTC

As a student, I marginally prefer whiteboards because of the lack of horrible screeching sound that chalk occaisionally generates, plus I think the result is neater and contrast is better. As the presenter, I massively prefer whiteboards because I hate having my hands covered in chalk - perhaps this will change if I get properly into climbing, though. Also, it's a lot easier to make minor corrections with a whiteboard.

The best option, for me, is a higher end smartboard. This is largely because my job now involves training people to use software, where good smartboards linked to a PC are massively superior to any other way of doing it. But even without that, the ability to link a board and software, plus the facility to save the contents of the board at any time are really useful; and, when you get used to using them, the markers for a smartboard are way more flexible than a simple pen/chalk - you can adjust the size and colour on the fly really easily, and the range of options is much wider.

EDIT: On the original topic, my (secondary) school had sinks only in science labs and art/design classrooms. I think the primary school had a sink in every classroom, but I'm not sure (it would make sense, primary school kids can be messy). University had sink, water supply and gas supply in all the lecture theatres. Possibly piped O2 and N2 in some as well, I don't remember.

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Re: Sinks in German classrooms?

Postby Oflick » Fri Dec 09, 2011 1:22 am UTC

Jorpho wrote:I was thinking the big problem with dry erase boards was the bother of keeping them clean. Sooner or later, there's always someone who makes the mistake of whipping out a permanent marker. And yes, there are ways to clean that off – but no one ever has it handy.


All you need is to draw over the permanent marker with a white board marker. That wouldn't be an issue at all.

Anyway, I haven't seen a blackboard since primary school. Also, only saw sinks in art and science classes while in high school.

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Re: Sinks in German classrooms?

Postby EvanED » Fri Dec 09, 2011 5:36 am UTC

Adacore wrote:As a student, I marginally prefer whiteboards because of the lack of horrible screeching sound that chalk occaisionally generates, plus I think the result is neater and contrast is better. As the presenter, I massively prefer whiteboards because I hate having my hands covered in chalk - perhaps this will change if I get properly into climbing, though.

One semester I had a class MWF and would usually go climbing in the evening of MW. I went through a lot of hand moisturizer that semester. (That was also during winter in WI too, which is already super-dry.)

The best option, for me, is a higher end smartboard. This is largely because my job now involves training people to use software, where good smartboards linked to a PC are massively superior to any other way of doing it. But even without that, the ability to link a board and software, plus the facility to save the contents of the board at any time are really useful; and, when you get used to using them, the markers for a smartboard are way more flexible than a simple pen/chalk - you can adjust the size and colour on the fly really easily, and the range of options is much wider.

My big concern about that would be you'd need a much larger setup than typical in order to be good for a class. The size of a typical smartboard setup (not that I've actually had much experience with them) is tiny compared with what you want for a class.

EDIT: On the original topic

Sorry, I'm helping to contribute to the off-topicness. FWIW, I'm pretty sure that my schools only had sinks in the science classrooms. (One at each lab station, as you'd expect.)

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Re: Sinks in German classrooms?

Postby You, sir, name? » Fri Dec 09, 2011 9:13 pm UTC

I've seen sinks in Sweden. They're for soaking the sponges used to wipe blackboards, and washing your hands of chalk dust.

This may or may not have already been said in the thread, but it was rather long and appeared to go off topic, so I didn't really read most of it.
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Re: Sinks in German classrooms?

Postby semicharmed » Sat Dec 10, 2011 1:52 pm UTC

Jorpho wrote:Oh, no more fragile than actual blackboards, I reckon.


Which will shatter into a million pieces if a desk is thrown at them.

Happened in classroom behind us during a math class in HS, and scared the crap out of all of us.


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