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ACTIVITY in Lab Safety. Last updated November 18, 2020.


Summary

In this activity, students will be engaged in a kinesthetic activity to teach laboratory safety. They will be prompted with different laboratory safety and equipment scenarios and asked to demonstrate the correct safety protocols to follow.

Grade Level

Middle School, High School

Objectives

By the end of this activity, students should be able to

  • State and demonstrate the general rules for working safely in a chemical laboratory environment.
  • Discuss the safety precautions or best practices that must be followed when in the laboratory.
  • Analyze different safety scenarios and the precautions that can be made to minimize hazardous situations in the lab.

Chemistry Topics

This activity supports students’ understanding of

  • Laboratory safety
  • Laboratory equipment

Time

Teacher Preparation: 10 minutes
Lesson: 45–60 minutes

Materials

  • Timer/stopwatch (for the teacher for timing each scenario)
  • Computer/projector for projecting scenarios
  • A set of 9 pieces of numbered lab equipment for students to identify in the pre-activity questions
  • Student handouts

Per group:

  • 1 pair of goggles
  • 1 lab apron
  • Gloves
  • 1 Bunsen burner
  • 1 hair tie
  • 2 or 3 beakers
  • 1 test tube
  • Tape for labeling beakers
  • Dust pan and broom
  • Heat protective gloves
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Fire blanket
  • First aid kit
  • Eye wash/shower visible

Safety

  • No specific safety precautions need to be observed for this activity.

Teacher Notes

  • This activity should be used at the start of the year before all labs have taken place.
  • Students will need to know laboratory safety prior to completing this activity. Flinn Scientific has a collection of safety contracts for various levels of science courses, available in English and Spanish. The high school student safety contract is what I go over in class and have each student sign, but choose what is most appropriate for your classes.
  • Set out all of the laboratory equipment into groups of 4–5 students (more or less if applicable).
  • Display a set of laboratory equipment at the front of the room, labeled with numbers 1–9, for your students to identify in the pre-activity questions. They can work on this as a warm-up/bell-ringer exercise as they arrive to class.
  • Start the class by having the students recall general laboratory procedures/techniques that they already know.
  • This activity can serve as a culminating activity for the unit or a formative assessment.
  • Read over the background and the directions with the students and answer any questions that they may have.
  • The PowerPoint with the scenarios is available for download in the sidebar. After each scenario gets projected on the screen, give students 60 seconds to solve it (you may need to change this time depending on your students). Once a team reaches a consensus on the proper steps that need to be taken, that group will raise their hand and demonstrate the correct safety precaution.  
  • Students will be raising their hands at different times so make sure you write down the order in which they raised their hands. In order to make sure that no single student dominates their group and all students are in agreement on the proper safety procedures, when it is time for students to demonstrate their procedures, you could randomly select one of the group members to demonstrate.
  • The first group to raise their hand and demonstrate the correct safety precaution will receive a bonus point. Every other group that demonstrates it correctly will receive the 5 points. You can provide partial credit for groups that identify some, but not all, of the correct procedures.
  • Each group will demonstrate their safety precautions as you write down their scores on the Teacher Notes Sheet, which you can find in the sidebar. You will not reveal the correct answer until after every group has gone.
  • The scenarios and answers are included in the PowerPoint as well as in the answer key document. It would be beneficial to familiarize yourself with the answers ahead of time, and adjust the scenarios/answers if you wanted to address other safety issues or would phrase the responses slightly differently for your students.
  • Scenario 10 is student-generated. If there is time at the end, you could have students respond to each other’s scenarios and demonstrate the proper safety precautions.
  • Students should be quiet during each demonstration (or they will lose points).
  • Each group can receive just one worksheet.
  • Differentiation: Each group should have a range of cognitive abilities.

For the Student

Lesson

Background

There are many risks involved in managing chemicals and equipment in the laboratory. Knowing the risks and the fundamental steps needed for prevention is pertinent in limiting the dangers in the lab.

Pre-Activity Questions

List the proper names of all of the lab equipment at the front of the room. Match the number with the item.




Describe where each of the following items is located in the lab.

  1. Fire Extinguisher
  2. Fire Blanket
  3. Eye Wash
  4. Shower
  5. First Aid Kit

Procedure

  • Your teacher will display the safety scenarios through a PowerPoint.
  • Your team will then have 60 seconds to talk through the scenario and answer the questions presented on the slide.
  • Once your team reaches a consensus on the proper steps, list them on your paper (bullet point or numbered list) and raise your hand. Your teacher will have you demonstrate the correct safety precautions after the time is up.
  • Every group will explain their scenario and your teacher will announce the correct demonstration at the end.
  • You will receive 5 points if you identify all of the proper safety precautions. The team who first correctly identifies all the safety precautions will receive a bonus point.
  • You may receive partial credit if you correctly identified some of the appropriate safety precautions but not all of them.
  • Each team member must demonstrate the correct safety procedure at least once.

Results

Group members: __________________________________________________________

Scenario 1

Spokesperson: _______________

Safety Precautions:

Points earned: ___/5_   Bonus point? Y (+1) / N   Total points: ________


Scenario 2

Spokesperson: _______________

Safety Precautions:

Points earned: ___/5_   Bonus point? Y (+1) / N          Total points: ________


Scenario 3

Spokesperson: _______________

Safety Precautions:

Points earned: ___/5_   Bonus point? Y (+1) / N          Total points: ________


Scenario 4

Spokesperson: _______________

Safety Precautions:

Points earned: ___/5_   Bonus point? Y (+1) / N          Total points: ________


Scenario 5

Spokesperson: _______________

Safety Precautions:

Points earned: ___/5_   Bonus point? Y (+1) / N          Total points: ________


Scenario 6

Spokesperson: _______________

Safety Precautions:

Points earned: ___/5_   Bonus point? Y (+1) / N          Total points: ________


Scenario 7

Spokesperson: _______________

Safety Precautions:

Points earned: ___/5_   Bonus point? Y (+1) / N          Total points: ________


Scenario 8

Spokesperson: _______________

Safety Precautions:

Points earned: ___/5_   Bonus point? Y (+1) / N          Total points: ________


Scenario 9

Spokesperson: _______________

Safety Precautions:

Points earned: ___/5_   Bonus point? Y (+1) / N          Total points: ________


Scenario 10

Spokesperson: _______________

Safety Scenario:

Safety Precautions:

Points earned: ___/5_   Bonus point? Y (+1) / N          Total points: ________

Final score (add up total points earned for each scenario): ______/50__

Analysis

  1. What personal protective equipment should be used in the lab?
  2. What should you do if glassware is broken?
  3. What do you do if you spill a chemical solution on yourself? Where are the safety showers and eye wash stations in our lab?
  4. What do you do with any waste materials generated in a lab?