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Science Connections
Chapter 1 Section 5













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1 class period

[1-5] Safety in the Science Laboratory

The purpose of this section is to explain to students the importance of observing proper safety procedures in a science laboratory. First, students must learn to follow the teachers directions or the directions given in the textbook exactly as stated. They must learn the meanings of the safety symbols and all the important safety precautions. It is important that students take as many precautions as possible to protect themselves and their fellow workers.

The scientific laboratory is a place of adventure and discovery, a place to satisfy our curiosity, a place to better understand the facts and main concepts of science. When we work in a laboratory, we must use scientific tools. As with any tools, a certain amount of care and precaution is necessary.

The themes that can be focused on in this section are systems and interactions and scale and structure.

Systems and interactions: Students who are beginning the study of science have many adventures in store when they work in science laboratories. Because they are not equipped to predict the results of many experiments, it is very important that safety procedures be learned until they are automatic.

Scale and structure: Dangerous materials and equipment in a science laboratory come in all sizes. It is not just large pieces of equipment or strong forces that require safety precautions. Very small quantities of some chemicals can be hazardous.

Performance Objectives 1-5

  1. List the important safety rules you must follow in the classroom laboratory.
  2. Explain the reasons for each laboratory safety rule.
  3. Describe how to respond to possible laboratory emergencies.

Display safety goggles, fire extinguisher, lab apron, and first-aid kit.

  • What do you think these items have to do with work in the scientific laboratory?
  • What are some laboratory safety rules that you already know?
  • What should you do if you accidentally get cut with broken glass?
  • Where is the closest fire extinguisher? How is it used in an emergency?
  • Where is the closest fire blanket? How is it used in an emergency?
  • How should we report a fire?
  • What should you do if you accidentally burn your fingers or hands?
  • What should you do if a chemical is accidentally spilled on your face, skin, or clothing?
  • What should you do if your face or eyes are accidentally injured?
  • What should you do if you accidentally cut yourself?
  • What should you do if you see an electric cord close to spilled water?
  • Why is it important not to cause pain, discomfort, or injury to a laboratory animal?
  • Why is it important to wash your hands after handling animals or animal cages?