science lab


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lab safetyScience is a hands-on laboratory class.  Students will be doing many laboratory activities that may require the use of chemicals, laboratory equipment, and other items which, if used incorrectly, can be hazardous.  Introductory physics is not primarily a lab class, but we will be doing a few labs that require students to understand the basics of lab safety.

1. Conduct yourself in a responsible manner at all times in the laboratory. No horseplay of any kind will be tolerated.

2.  Do your share of the lab; do not rely on your lab partner to do all of the work.  Before starting the lab, work out a way to share the responsibilities.

3. When first entering a science room, do not touch any equipment, chemicals, or other materials in the laboratory area until you are instructed to do so.   The lab also has many items in storage; do NOT poke around in cabinets or drawers.

4.  Read instructions carefully.  Many questions you might have are answered in your lab handout.   Do not skip steps, follow the directions in the order they are given.  

5. Do not eat or drink in the lab. EVER.

6.  You may be required to wear safety goggles – usually when chemicals or glassware are involved in the lab.

7. Keep your area clean and free of clutter.  Backpacks should be left in the classroom or stored at the front of the lab where no one will trip over them.   Leave your lab table the way you found it.

8.  Do not wander around the room, distract other students, startle other students or interfere with the laboratory experiments of others.   Stay in your assigned area; do not “visit” your friends on the other side of the lab.

9.  Know the locations and operating procedures of all safety equipment including: first aid kit(s), and fire extinguisher.  Know where the fire alarm and the exits are located.

10.   Report any accident (spill, breakage, etc.) or injury (cut, burn, etc.) to the teacher.

11. All chemicals in the laboratory are to be considered dangerous. Avoid handling chemicals with fingers. Always use a tweezer.   Never taste any chemicals (even if it seems safe) in the lab. 

12.  Never remove equipment, chemicals, or specimens unless you are given permission.

*Failure to follow lab safety rules may result in you being removed from the lab and receiving a zero.*

Other Resources on Lab Safety

Lab Safety Cartoon – a fun activity showing a cartoon of unsafe activities in the lab

The Elephant Poem – a poem about how observations depend on the perspective of the observer

Equipment Station Lab – a station lab activity where students move through stations and perform tasks with scientific equipment

Quiz over Lab Safety (Quizziz)