Science Safety

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SWBAT explain the safety expectations we have in our classroom and science room.

Big Idea

It's important for students to understand that safety is the top priority on a school campus and that they need to understand what the safety expectations are during science class

Lesson Overview- 5 E Lesson Plan

5 minutes

Unit 1: Scientist Training Camp

Lesson 3: Science Safety

5E Lesson Planning:

I plan most of my science lessons using the BSCS 5E Lesson Model: Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, and Evaluate. For a quick overview of the model, take a look at this video.

I use this lesson model because it peaks the students' interest in the beginning during the "Engage" portion and allows for the students to actively participate in the investigations throughout the subsequent steps. The “Evaluate” component of the 5E Lesson Model can be used in many ways by the teacher and by the students.

A great resource for lesson plan frameworks and explanations is the Community Resources for Science. The 5E Lesson Planning Template and 5E Lesson Planning Prompts come from this website.

Unit Overview:

In this unit, students will learn about the tools and safety guidelines that are necessary for conducting science investigations. They will also be setting up a Science Notebook and learning about the difference between a scientist and an engineer.

Lesson Overview:

In this lesson, students will learn about the safety rules and expectations for participating in science investigations.

Next Generation Science Standards:

In this Unit I will be introducing the students to the different Next Generation Science Standards by showing them an overview of the Disciplinary Core Ideas, Crosscutting Concepts, and Science & Engineering Practices. 

In the last few lessons of the Unit we will be using some of the Science and Engineering Practices to design an experiment and to go through the Engineering Design process.


10 minutes

I tell the students that whenever we work on a science investigation or an engineering project that the first thing we need to keep in mind is safety. I tell them that although we won't be using glassware or using harsh chemicals, we need to follow safety guidelines while we are in our Science Room and using diffeerent materials.I show the students this video to start the discussion about science safety and tell them to keep these safety guidelines in mind when we go over our Science Safety rules. There are several science safety videos online, but I found that most of them were geared towards the secondary students. I tell the students to also take notes in their Science Notebooks while they are watching the video. This is one Student's Safety Notes and abother Student Notes for Science Safety.

After we watch the video, I ask the students to talk to their shoulder partner using a Rally Robin cooperative learning strategy to discuss the main ideas from the video. I also tell the students to add any ideas they got from their partner about safety.



20 minutes

I then talk to the students about the importance of being safe while conducting science investigations and using science tools.

I have them copy these safety guidelines in their Science Notebooks and I point out to the students that these are also posted in the Science Room:

  1. Always follow all lab instructions before starting an investigation.
  2. Work with a partner or your science group and help keep each other safe.
  3. Do not eat, drink or even chew gum in the science lab.
  4. Wear protective goggles and lab coats as required.
  5. Report any accidents or spills involving broken glass or other materials to the teacher.
  6. Keep the science lab clean and clutter-free.
  7. Take care of all science equipment .
  8. Be careful when working with electrical appliances or outlets.
  9. No horseplay in the science lab.
  10. Follow the Champs for Science Lab.
  11. Make sure to ask any questions if you're not sure what to do.
  12. Wash your hands after completing an investigation.

I tell the students that we will not be working with a lot of glassware (if any) and that the chemicals we use are not dangerous, but it's always a good idea to take precautions. I also tell them that the equipment we use during investigations are tools and not toys. This ends up being one of our mantras for the year.  I tell them to always keep this in mind while we are in the Science Lab so that they can be safe. I show them these science safety symbols and we talk about each one. I tell them that we will post these in our Science Room along with a science safety rules poster similar to this one.

We have a class discussion about why we have these safety expectations and talk about how following directions prevents accidents and that cleaning up is important for the next group to come in afterwards. We also talk about how sometimes an experiment might go wrong and that sometimes mistakes are made. Several students were asking if we would blow up things or if they were going to dissect frogs and I tell them that we won't be doing either.