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After reading the article "Safety First", by Judith Longfield I have concluded that when conducting experiments students need to know ahead of time safety precautions. Because the students lack of knowledge of chemicals, substances, and other hazards is so innocent, they should be provided a safety lesson before experiments. The lesson should warn the students what can occur if directions are not followed. The lesson could help enforce that following procedures are ultimately important and what the teacher demands is for the best interest of the child. Once the students can witness the precautions needed to successful participate in an experiment, they can take the concerns more seriously.
1900 Activity Points
I agree. Ultimately, it is up to the teacher to make all procedures and expectations clear. I have been taught that before any experiment the instructor should go over all safety procedures. Furthermore, the instructor should take the time to familiarize the students with the various types of equipment that they will be using during the experiment. Just having the basic knowledge of how to operate and handle potentially dangerous lab equipment can be the difference between having an accident free experience and one where someone gets hurt. In addition, students should be warned against any poor conduct during an experiment. It is a privilege to participate in a lab experiment and those privileges can be revoked. When students are not behaving seriously in the lab, accidents can happen. All precautions should be taken.
510 Activity Points
You are exactly right! Students do need to know safety precautions for all experiments. Many teachers begin each year teaching safety and going over their county's safety contract that is signed by both parents and students. Different types of safety (i.e.: glass safety or electrical safety) have symbols that can be taught at the beginning of the year and symbols can be placed on labs to remind students of the pre-taught expectations for the lab. A quick review is always important. Whenever my students are required to wear goggles, I remind them to keep the goggles on until every group is finished with their lab. Another lab group member could turn and spill on you. I also remind them that the goggles sometimes fog up or make your eyes itchy. Be careful not to rub your eyes. Your hands could have a substance on them that could harm your eyes. Some labs, especially chemistry, require more specific instruction, as well as planning, before students begin. Science isn't fun unless it's safe!
1335 Activity Points
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