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Safety in Science

Outlines the hazards of scientific research and how scientists stay safe.

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Safety Rap

Safety Rap

Credit: Adelphi Lab Center
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/adelphilabcenter/5999039227
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Are they following science safety rules?

News You Can Use

  • Science labs can be dangerous places. More accidents happen in school science labs than in professional science labs. Some of the equipment, including Bunsen burners and toxic chemicals, pose dangers in just about any lab.
  • Credit: SmartSign
    Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/smartsignbrooklyn/10276190866/
    License: CC BY-NC 3.0

    Injuries from burns are quite common in labs [Figure2]

  • But the most dangerous type of “equipment” in all labs is people. Science labs can be fun and exciting, and they don’t have to be dangerous. All that’s required is being careful and following science safety rules.
  • Listen to this science safety rap to learn how to stay safe when you do experiments in science.

Can You Apply It?

At the links below, learn more about science safety. Then read the descriptions below of student behavior in science lab. In each case, identify the safety rule that is not being followed.

  1. Joy got to class early, even before her teacher arrived. She decided to get a head start on her lab experiment. She put on safety gear and got to work.
  2. Dan finished his lab work early and had some extra time. He pulled a snack out of his book bag to grab a bite to eat before his next class.
  3. Tori wanted to finish her lab experiment at home. She took a small container of the necessary chemical out of the lab and put it in her locker.
  4. Lana accidentally knocked over a bottle of acid on her lab table. She grabbed some paper towels, cleaned up the spill, and got right back to work on her experiment.
  5. Sara bought new sandals last night and wore them to school today. She found them to be very comfortable in science lab, where she had to stand a lot.
  6. Raj lit a bunsen burner to heat some chemicals in a test tube. Then he went to the other side of the lab to get a test tube and the chemicals.
  7. Peter poured out more of a chemical than he needed for an experiment. He poured the excess chemical back into the storage container.
  8. A certain chemical reaction can be identified by the odor it produces. Jen leaned over a beaker to smell the chemicals and identify the reaction.
  9. Identify three science safety rules the boy in the picture above should be following, but isn’t.

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Image Attributions

  1. [1]^ Credit: Adelphi Lab Center; Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/adelphilabcenter/5999039227; License: CC BY-NC 3.0
  2. [2]^ Credit: SmartSign; Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/smartsignbrooklyn/10276190866/; License: CC BY-NC 3.0

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