As part of a National Science Teacher Association (NSTA) forum, I was looking for a great way to keep students interested in safety in the science classroom. Lab safety is one of the most vital parts of protecting students from potential accidents with chemicals, glassware, and other equipment. It is a standard lesson plan teachers present in the first weeks of school. Often, students are given a quiz or test on science lab safety after completion of the lessons to be sure they will follow the directions the whole year through. Until now, this was NOT one of the highlights of my classroom. Students just don't care for knowing where the fire extinguisher is located or how to mix acids and water. They think nothing could ever happen to them!
And then came a wonderful resource from Jeffrey L. Finnan, Ph.D. The School Science Safety Picture Test uses cartoon characters to demonstrate 36 science safety tips. The file is available in PDF format and includes an answer sheet for students to fill in. The file, reprinted with permission from the Lab Safety Institute, will keep students engaged and interested in science safety. It may be used as a quiz or as a worksheet for students to fill in. It might even make a great contest as students race to be the first to explain all 36 potential science accidents!