Science Tuxedo

Science Tuxedo

Our Science Tuxedo mock lab coat design is perfect for students to look fab in the lab while also reinforcing important science concepts. Our Science Tuxedo design has been utilized by teachers primarily in three different ways:

  1. Lab Safety – As part of teaching lab safety,  let your students create their own personalized lab safety apron or t-shirt to wear all year long on lab days.
  2. Review Anchor Chart – At the end of the semester or prior to a big test, use the Science Tuxedo design to reinforce important topics covered in class.
  3. End of Year – After that big test and in the final weeks of school, let your students capture the highlights of the year with a personalized Science Tuxedo design.

OR do ALL THREE – Start with lab safety, add review of concepts throughout the year and finish the year with the student’s choice for their favorite lesson.

Find out more about the projects below and get ready to elevate your classroom’s science game!

Available on t-shirts or aprons.

Science Tuxedo (mock lab coat) - Directions for the Teacher

1. Early Prep

You are sure to generate enthusiasm for science and this project if you create and wear your own mock lab coat project in class. Think of this project as a “wearable anchor chart” for the different concepts you teach throughout the year. Students will be excited when they find out they will have the opportunity to create their apron or shirt project!

Decide beforehand if you want students to create a shirt or apron. My recommendation is to go with the apron if you want students to have a lab apron to wear on lab days. Some teachers like to do the shirt project toward the end of the year as a review of concepts they have learned throughout the year. It is also a fun way to engage students during a time when many attention spans are waning.

Decide where you are going to get fabric markers and paint (if needed).  These supplies are offered at Walmart or hobby supply stores. ScienceWear also offers recommended fabric markers and paint at competitive prices SHOP MARKERS and PAINT HERE>

Check out the collecting money and ordering form examples. This form explains the project and related cost.  I provided Microsoft Word version so you can chose the shirt or apron form and edit to your specifications before printing copies for the class.  *Personal testimony – This project has been used by teachers in classrooms across the United States, including schools with low socio-economic status disadvantaged students. Collecting money ($6 for a shirt or $7 for the apron) has been met with minimal resistance from students and parents.  I believe this is due to the excitement students have for actually creating a project that will be theirs to keep and wear. In addition, the project is completed in class, so it rids the parent of “project supervision and material” stress. 

2. Ordering

See Order Information for details on ordering and payments.

* For purchase orders, order processing begins only when a Purchase Order # is provided. Often project delays are caused by delays in the PO process.  Contact us early in the process and let us help with the paperwork.  You do NOT need size information to get a quote to start the purchase order process. 

Once ordered and payment or PO provided, expect your order in 10 days (7 days for printing + 3 days for shipping).  If you need the order quicker, let us know.

3. Final Prep

While order is being processed, review supply list and gather supplies.   Contact us if you need assistance with clip-art.

4. Creating the Science Tuxedo  Shirt or Apron

This project can be completed in two to three 45 minute classes or stretched out over the year adding as a review.

Supplies Part I: 

> Tuxedo apron or t-shirt

> Extra-fine or fine black sharpie marker for labeling organs (1/student/class)

> Large piece of butcher paper, poster board, smooth cardboard, or foam board (1/student/class)

> Jumbo paper clips, bulldog clips (4/student/class)

> Fabric markers for coloring (1 set per group of four/class)

> Science clipart images

Distribute the garments.

Have students place a folded sheet of butcher paper or poster board under the fabric to prevent marker bleed-through.  Using clips, secure the fabric and paper together to prevent slipping. *Helpful tip for using markers on t-shirt fabric – Since t-shirt fabric is stretchy; some teachers prefer having students insert a ½ sheet of foam board inside their shirt, centering the area to be designed over the foam. Demonstrate how to smooth the fabric over the board taking care to make the fabric is taut before securing with clips. This makes the fabric a bit easier to label and color with the markers. The foam boards found at discount stores such as Dollar Tree can be cut in ½ and the boards are easily stored and reused!

 Have students neatly write (or trace) their name with a sharpie marker on the name tag.

Provide science clipart images of various concepts you will teach (or have taught) from which students can select and trace onto the shirt/apron. You may even want to provide time during class or as a homework assignment for students to use computers to select and print their own science clip art to use.

The images are easily traced with a fabric marker by placing the image under the fabric.

Heat Set the Marker – You will need to decide in advance if you are going to have your students do their own heat-setting or have an adult volunteer do this, depending on the age of your students.

When all labeling and coloring has been completed, the paper and clips are removed from the project and the marker on the fabric will need to be heat set. There are two ways to heat set fabric marker colors.

  1. Set an iron to the cotton setting. Place the shirt or apron on a flat surface.  Lay a piece of fabric (like a tea towel or pillow case) over the areas that were designed with markers. Iron over the fabric covering the project, using a back and forth motion, for 4 minutes.
  2.  You can heat set by placing the project in a clothes dryer set on the hottest setting for 30 minutes.

*My tried and true method for heat-setting is #1.  By making the use of the iron a part of the science safety skills I teach (handling hot objects), I have allowed students as young as grade 5 do their own heat setting.

*If you do not want to use paint as described in Part II, the projects are complete.

Washing and Care Information

The color may bleed through during the first wash.  To prevent bleeding during the wash cycle, instruct students to wash the garment in cold water separately and machine dry as soon as the wash cycle completes.


Part II (Optional)

Providing iridescent glitter fabric paint is optional, but highly recommended! The paint is added after heat-setting the fabric marker.  No additional heat-setting will be required.

Supplies Part II:

  • Completed apron or t-shirt project
  • Large piece of butcher paper, poster board, smooth cardboard, or foam board – saved from Part 1 (1/student)
  • Jumbo paper clips or bulldog clips saved from Part I (4/student)
  • Q-tips (disposable paint applicators) 1/student or paint brush
  • 1 oz. condiment cup or square of aluminum foil for paint
  • 1/student Iridescent/diamond glitter fabric paint (available at Walmart, hobby stores or at ScienceWear)

Students reuse the paper/board and clip to set-up their project as they in Part I.

Provide each student with a Q-tip (or paint brush) and small cup (or piece of foil) with a quarter size “glob” of diamond fabric paint.

Instruct students to use their Q-tip/paint brush to dab and spread iridescent paint (clear fabric paint with tiny bits of iridescent glitter) over the top of any areas they colored where they want to add a bit of sparkle. The iridescent paint dries clear and quick.

Teacher tip:  Avoid paint waste and “glitter frenzy” by controlling the amount of glitter paint each student receives.  When done, students dispose of their Q-tips and foil. Paint brushes can be washed in soapy water.  If you use condiment cups, encourage students to use up the paint you gave them and save the cups for reuse. Allow condiment cups to completely dry before stacking and storing.