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Safe Practices and Equipment

Safe Practices and Equipment

TEKS Objective

The student is expected to demonstrate safe practices and the use of safety equipment as described in the Texas Safety Standards during classroom and outdoor investigations.

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Essential Understanding

The student conducts classroom and outdoor investigations following home and school safety procedures and environmentally appropriate and ethical practices.

Science Background

Science Safety in Elementary Schools: BioEd Online (video) - Online presentation covering classroom safety practices, particularly during students’ science investigations. Includes information about key safety equipment and strategies for setting up a safety object wall.

Science Safety in Elementary Schools
BioEd Online,

Safety Equipment and Supplies: Charles A. Dana Center (PDF) - Detailed information about a wide variety of safety equipment that may be needed in a science classroom.

Safety Equipment and Supplies
Charles A. Dana Center,

Signature Lesson

Science Safety is Elementary: Ohio Department of Education (PDF) - Students discuss science safety, identify and demonstrate basic science safety procedures, and use appropriate classroom safety equipment. They will decide which of their five senses would need to be protected in different situations (personal safety) and identify precautions necessary to avoid hazards in the classroom (classroom safety).

Science Safety is Elementary
Ohio Department of Education,

Supporting Lessons

Clean Gene’s Germ-fighters Hit Parade: Gojo Industries (PDF) - A familiar tune with new words helps students learn how to wash their hands thoroughly to clean them of germs.

Clean Gene’s Germ-fighters Hit Parade
Gojo Industries,

Elaboration Lessons and Extensions

Teaching Lab Safety: Marcia’s Science Teaching Ideas (website) - Scroll down the page for a list of numerous safety activity ideas. The “Safety Scenarios Game” is recommended

Teaching Lab Safety
Marcia’s Science Teaching Ideas,

Science Safety Rules: Science Spot (PDF) - Students read a brief story about the antics of SpongeBob Squarepants and his friends, identify the safety rules being broken, and learn the guidelines for proper safety in science class.

Science Safety Rules
Science Spot,

Assessment Ideas

Have students create “safety comics” that illustrate and demonstrate their understanding of safety rules.

Literature Connections

Healthy Me: Fun Ways to Develop Good Health and Safety Habits. O’Brien-Palmer, M. (ISBN-13: 978-1556523595)

First Aid for You. Weber, Rebecca. (ISBN-13: 978-0756509262)

Safety. Gogerly, Liz. (ISBN-13: 978-0778741206)

Related Science TEKS

(4.2A) Plan and Implement Descriptive Investigation
The student is expected to plan and implement descriptive investigations, including asking well-defined questions, making inferences, and selecting and using appropriate equipment or technology to answer his/her questions.

(4.2B) Collect Data
The student is expected to collect and record data by observing and measuring, using the metric system, and using descriptive words and numerals such as labeled drawings, writing, and concept maps.

(4.2C) Graphs, Tables, Charts
The student is expected to construct simple tables, charts, bar graphs, and maps using tools and current technology to organize, examine, and evaluate data.

(4.2D) Analyze Evidence and Explain
The student is expected to analyze data and interpret patterns to construct reasonable explanations from data that can be observed and measured.

(4.2E) Value of Repeated Experiments
The student is expected to perform repeated investigations to increase the reliability of results.

(4.2F) Communicate Conclusions
The student is expected to communicate valid, oral, and written results supported by data.

(4.3A) Analyze, Evaluate, and Critique Explanations
The student is expected to in all fields of science, analyze, evaluate, and critique scientific explanations by using empirical evidence, logical reasoning, and experimental and observational testing, including examining all sides of scientific evidence of those scientific explanations, so as to encourage critical thinking by the student.

(4.3C) Develop a Model
The student is expected to represent the natural world using models such as rivers, stream tables, or fossils and identify their limitations, including accuracy and size

(4.4A) Tools for Collecting and Analyzing Information
The student is expected to collect, record, and analyze information using tools, including calculators, microscopes, cameras, computers, hand lenses, metric rulers, Celsius thermometers, mirrors, spring scales, pan balances, triple beam balances, graduated cylinders, beakers, hot plates, meter sticks, compasses, magnets, collecting nets, and notebooks; timing devices, including clocks and stopwatches; and materials to support observation of habitats of organisms such as terrariums and aquariums.

(4.4B) Safety Equipment
The student is expected to use safety equipment as appropriate, including safety goggles and gloves.

Related Math TEKS

4.11A  The student is expected to estimate and use measurement tools to determine length (including perimeter), area, capacity and weight/mass using standard units SI (metric) and customary.

4.11B   The student is expected to perform simple conversions between different units of length, between different units of capacity, and between different units of weight within the customary measurement system.

4.11C   The student is expected to use concrete models of standard cubic units to measure volume.

4.11D  The student is expected to estimate volume in cubic units.

4.11E   The student is expected to explain the difference between weight and mass.

4.12A  The student is expected to use a thermometer to measure temperature and changes in temperature.

4.12B   The student is expected to use tools such as a clock with gears or a stopwatch to solve problems involving elapsed time.

4.13A  The student is expected to use concrete objects or pictures to make generalizations about determining all possible combinations of a given set of data or of objects in a problem situation.

4.13B   The student is expected to interpret bar graphs.

4.14A  The student is expected to identify the mathematics in everyday situations.

4.14B   The student is expected to solve problems that incorporate understanding the problem, making a plan, carrying out the plan, and evaluating the solution for reasonableness.

4.14C   The student is expected to select or develop an appropriate problem-solving plan or strategy, including drawing a picture, looking for a pattern, systematic guessing and checking, acting it out, making a table, working a simpler problem, or working backwards to solve a problem.


Additional Resources

Student Lab Safety Worksheet: McGraw Hill (DOC) – Download a safety worksheet to guide student thinking about safety concerns before conducting an investigation. 

Student Lab Safety Worksheet
McGraw Hill,

Lab Safety: Educational Rap (website) - Use a “rap” song to reinforce safe practices in the science lab. An audio version of the rap can be downloaded for a small fee; the lyrics are available free of charge.

Lab Safety
Educational Rap,

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