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Lab Safety Certification

Teacher's Guide


Ninth grade Physical Science students will be prepared to properly and safely participate in high school science laboratory activities.


In order to protect students and school property from accidents caused by carelessness or misuse of laboratory equipment, students must achieve a mastery level proficiency in science safety procedures and rules.

Description of Learners

This unit of study was originally planned for ninth grade physical Science students with little or no previous science laboratory experience, from a rural high school. It could easily be used with advanced middle school students or older students with limited experience in science laboratory safety and skills.


Prior to beginning this activity, students will be able to use a word processor, surf the web, access, fill out and send web based forms, and create Power Point Presentations.

Subject Matter Description

This curriculum is centered on safety and skills in Chemistry and Physics labs.

Information covered:
  • Names, proper uses and core of common lab equipment (triple beam balance, spring scale, graduated cylinder, thermometer, meter stick, micro-scale Chemistry equipment, Bunsen burner, test tubes, crucible and cover, beakers and accessories).
  • Laboratory safety rules and procedures.
  • Identification of safety symbols.
  • Location and proper use of safety equipment
Concepts and Skills:
  • Purpose of laboratory safety plans.
  • Comparison of laboratory safety plans in schools and industry.
  • Proper design of a laboratory safety plan

Learning Objectives

The National Science Education Standards, page 44 states that, Teachers are responsible to �teach students how to engage safely in investigations inside and outside the classroom.� To ensure students have the prerequisite abilities to participate in laboratory activities safely, upon completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  • Correctly identify common lab equipment.
  • Determine the appropriate laboratory tool for a given laboratory task.
  • Describe proper use and care of common lab equipment.
  • Recognize common safety symbols and the safety precautions each represents.
  • Recognize laboratory safety rules.
  • Locate safety equipment.
  • Describe proper use of school safety equipment.
  • Apply safety rules consistently to lab situations.
  • Recommend safety procedures to be followed in lab activities.
  • Explain the purpose of a laboratory safety plan.
  • Critique the current school laboratory safety plan.

Instructional Plan

This curriculum web is designed to prepare students to work safety in a Physical Science, Chemistry or Physics laboratory. Some activities are to be completed alone, others with a partner or in small groups. The teacher can assign groups and partners or students can self-select. Students will create two presentable projects. Teachers can determine which projects will be presented to the class, based on time available.

ActivitySuggested Grouping
Lab Equipment Scavenger HuntAlone/Partner
Equipment Uses FlashcardsAlone/Partner
Lab Equipment Use/Care InstructionsSmall Group
Safety Equipment MatchingAlone/Partner
Safety Equipment MapPartner/Small Group
Safety Equipment CrosswordAlone/Partner
Safety Symbols MatchingAlone
Safety Rules Fill-in-the-BlanksAlone
Safety ScenarioPartner/Small Group
Lab Safety Plan ActivitiesSmall Group
Lab Safety Plan PresentationSmall Group

Since this curriculum web is designed to take several class periods, teachers need to plan for computers to be available several times throughout a one to two-week period.

It is suggested that follow-up activities including hands-on use of lab equipment be scheduled upon completion of this curriculum web.

Materials Needed

Web Pages Home Computer, Hardware and Software

Each group will need:

  • Computer with Internet Access
  • Word Processor
  • Internet Browser, preferably Internet Explorer 6.0 or above
  • Presentation Software
  • Access to a printer
Printed Materials
  • Safety Scenario Cards, printed and cut out
  • Grading Rubrics if desired

Other possible supplies include poster board, paper, markers, glue, scissors, tape, colored pencils and supplies as needed for presentations.

Assessment Plan

Lab EquipmentLab Equipment Scavenger HuntLab Equipment Names Test
Equipment Uses FlashcardsEquipment Use Test
Lab Equipment Use/Care InstructionsRubric
Safety EquipmentSafety Equipment MatchingOnline Matching Activity
Safety Equipment MapMap
Safety Equipment CrosswordOnline Crossword
Safety Rules and SymbolsSafety Symbols MatchingOnline Matching Activity
Safety Rules Fill-in-the-BlanksOnline Fill-in-the-Blanks Activity
Safety ScenarioScenario Write Up
Lab Safety PlanLab Safety Plan ActivitiesRubric
Lab Safety Plan Presentation

Evaluation Plan

This curriculum web will be used with three different classes of ninth grade Physical Science students that I will be teaching, a bilingual Physical Science class (English/Spanish), a Conceptual Physical Science class (for students who struggle with math), and a traditional Physical Science class (for college bound students). This diversity should give me a good idea how effective the curriculum web is and what improvements can be made. After completing the curriculum web, students will be asked to complete an online survey form that will be e-mailed to me for compilation and analysis. By using my own in class observations as well as the students� survey forms, I will have a better idea of the amount of time the complete curriculum web takes as well as ideas for improving the course.

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