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Cleaning Up the Lab (8 Favorites)

LAB in Introduction, Lab Safety, Measurements. Last updated February 28, 2022.


Summary

In this lab, students will learn how to mass a solid, properly wash glassware, and clean up their lab area.

Grade Level

High School

NGSS Alignment

This lab will help prepare your students to meet the performance expectations in the following standards:

  • Scientific and Engineering Practices:
    • Planning and Carrying Out Investigations

Objectives

By the end of this lab, students should be able to:

  • Properly use a balance to find the mass of a solid.
  • Identify common glassware used in the chemistry laboratory.
  • Correctly clean glassware.
  • Effectively clean a lab workstation following a laboratory experiment.

Chemistry Topics

This lesson supports students’ understanding of:

  • Lab Safety
  • Lab Equipment
  • Lab Procedures
  • Measurement

Time

Teacher Preparation: 15 minutes

Lesson: 30 minutes

Materials

  • VisionAid Rainbow II Liquid Cleaner (or other lens cleaner)
  • Kimwipes™ or other lens wipes
  • Glassware (1 piece per person )
  • Sodium Chloride, NaCl (1 small bottle per two groups)
  • Tabletop brooms and dustpans
  • Washcloth or paper towels                                    
  • Distilled water bottles
  • Centigram scales                                           
  • Soap bottle (1 per two groups)
  • Glassware brush (any size)               
  • Weigh boats (1 per group)
  • Scoopula or spatula (1 per group)                                         

Safety

  • Always wear safety goggles when handling chemicals in the lab.
  • Students should wash their hands thoroughly before leaving the lab.
  • When students complete the lab, instruct them how to clean up their materials and dispose of any chemicals.
  • Do not consume lab solutions, even if they’re otherwise edible products.
  • Food in the lab should be considered a chemical not for consumption.

Teacher Notes

  • To learn more about this lab, read the associated article, Cleaning Up the Lab published as a Resource Feature in the March 2022 issue of Chemistry Solutions.
  • Teachers should make sure to have a specific idea of what clean-up procedures you want the student to follow. Edit the student handout to best fit your lab space/setup. It makes the lab run more smoothly.
  • Students can work in small groups of 2 for this activity.
  • If you do not have sodium chloride available, any non-hazardous solid will work. Be aware that powders like sodium bicarbonate are tough to clean up and often leave streaks on the table.
  • This lab presents an opportunity to remind students that unused solid samples should not be returned to the original container when weighing.
  • The brooms and dustpans are not necessary, but they help. Just remove Step 5 if you choose not to use them.
  • Before students complete Step 7, show them the proper technique you want them to use to clean up the table. If you do not have a preference, change the wording for this step.
  • Below are several related activities from AACT that could be completed in combination with this short lab:

For the Student

Cleaning Up the Lab

Objective

In this lab you will learn how to mass a solid, properly wash glassware, and correctly clean up your lab area.

Materials

  • 2 pieces of glassware  
  • NaCl
  • Washcloth or paper towels                                    
  • Distilled water bottle
  • Scale                             
  • Soap bottle
  • Glassware brush
  • Weigh boat
  • Scoopula                                  
  • Safety glasses or goggles

Safety

  • Always wear safety goggles when handling chemicals in the lab.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly before leaving the lab.
  • Follow the teacher’s instructions for cleanup of materials and disposal of chemicals.
  • Do not consume lab solutions, even if they’re otherwise edible products.
  • Food in the lab should be considered a chemical not for consumption.

Procedure

  1. Obtain your materials and bring them back to your lab table. Put on safety goggles.
  2. Using the scoopula, weigh boat, and scale, measure 2.00 g of NaCl.
  3. Transfer the NaCl to one of your pieces of glassware (the easiest one to use is the beaker).
  4. Dump the NaCl out of the beaker onto the lab table.
  5. Use the small broom/dustpan sets to sweep up as much NaCl as possible from the table.
  6. Have each person in your group wash one piece of glassware using the following procedure:
    1. Pour a little soap into the bottom.
    2. Fill halfway with tap water.
    3. Scrub using the glassware brush (inside and out).
    4. Dump out the water and rinse 3x with tap water.
    5. Rinse 3x with distilled water being sure not to touch the tip of the wash bottle to the glassware.
    6. Hang up the glassware to dry.
  7. Using the proper technique, have one group member clean the table. Remember to use an “S” motion.
  8. Rinse your washcloth, wring out, and hang up on the faucet head. If using a paper towel, discard it when finished.
  9. Using a dry paper towel, have the other member of the group repeat Step 7.
  10. Clean your goggles or glasses using the cleaning spray and tissues.
  11. Wash your hands with soap and water.
  12. Return to your seats.