Physical Science Lab Safety Activity

Physical Science Lab Safety Activity #1

Wearing the proper personal protective equipment is important. The focus of this lab is on physical science lab safety procedures and following directions more so than the outcome of the experiment. Here, students will learn how goggles, a lab apron, and gloves can protect them from chemicals by performing two low risk labs. This will allow students to be introduced to proper lab procedure. It is encouraged that you read through and demonstrate the lab prior to allowing students carry it out. A total of 7 groups/benches with 4 students to a bench (i.e., two sets of pairs) is the ideal grouping for this lab.

Materials you will need:

  • Download the Lab Activity Worksheets below...
  • Polystyrene packing peanuts
  • Cornstarch packing peanuts
  • Acetone (fingernail polish remover)
  • Petri dishes, 4 per table (students will be working with a lab partner so, two dishes per two students)
  • 2 plastic lab beakers, (4 per table)
    • Always best to use plastic beakers to introduce lab safety at first until students get use to the safety procedures and have them down.
    • Add 200mL of water in one beaker. And you will need to pour about 100mL of Acetone to the other beaker. (The teacher has this performed and ready when students walk into the lab.) Make sure to label the beakers H2O and Acetone.
  • 4 glass droppers per table. Each lab group (2 students) will need one dropper (transfer dropper) for the water H2O and one for the Acetone.
  • Each table should have two plastic bowls. One bowl will have the polystyrene packing peanuts and the other bowl will have the cornstarch peanuts (label each bowl clearly). Both lab groups at each lab table may share the packing peanuts from each bowl. Each bowl should have about 10 to 15 packing peanuts in each one.

Once all of your stations are prepared and have all the appropriate equipment organized and labeled and ready for students to use you may want to double check all equipment is in its proper place. The diagram below shows how each table should be setup.

Physical Science Lab Safety

Students should be reminded and referred to any relevant safety posters in the room to help them follow lab safety procedures and keep safety equipment on at all times.

  • Students will place one cornstarch peanut and one polystyrene peanut into separate Petri dishes.
  • Encourage students to predict what will happen (before you demo the lab) when they place two droppers of water over one Petri dish and two droppers of acetone over the other Petri dish. (Be sure to keep droppers separate for water and acetone.)
  • Have students write their prediction on the lab sheet.
  • Students will then fill out the results chart with their observations.

Physical Science Lab Safety Preparation:

  1. Make sure students are wearing closed toed shoes.
  2. Students with long hair must have it tied back neatly and out of the way.
  3. Students will don (put on) their goggles, lab apron and gloves.
    • Remind them not to remove any of these until the lab is completed, cleaned up, and you have instructed them to do so. (You may have to remind students to keep goggles on over their eyes.)
  4. Remind them not to pick up any lab equipment or begin until they are instructed to do so.
  5. Assign students and lab partners to each table.
  6. Once students are at each table have students read the lab procedures completely with their lab partner. (Use this as an opportunity to emphasize that you should read all the procedures before you begin any lab.)
  7. The students will complete the lab as follows:

Safety:

  1. Ensure you and your partner correctly have:
    • closed toed shoes
    • long hair tied back neatly and out of the way.
    • safety goggles, lab apron and gloves on.
    • Note: Do not remove any of these until your lab is completed, cleaned up, and you are instructed to do so by your teacher!
  2. Read all the instructions and do not pick up any lab equipment or begin until you are instructed to do so!

Lab Procedure:

  1. Place one cornstarch peanut and one polystyrene peanut into two separate Petri dishes.
  2. Read step three and write down your prediction of what you think will happen in each Petri dish.
  3. Place two droppers of water into one petri dish and two droppers of acetone into the other petri dish. (Be sure to keep your droppers for water and acetone separate)
  4. Record your results in the chart provided.

Physical Science Lab Safety Activity #2

Wearing the proper personal protective equipment is important. In this lab we will learn how goggles, lab aprons, and gloves can protect you from chemicals.

Materials you will need:

Preparation:

  1. Prepare the materials for each lab table. Each student should have their own test tube.
  2. Place a target at the front of the lab to have a spot for the students to aim their baking soda cannons.
  3. Check students are wearing closed toed shoes.
  4. Students with long hair must have it tied back neatly and out of the way.
  5. Check all students are wearing their goggles, lab apron and gloves.
    • Remind them not to remove any of these until the lab is completed, cleaned up, and they have been instructed to do so by the teacher. (You may have to remind students to keep goggles over their eyes.)
  6. Remind students not to collect any lab equipment or begin until they are instructed to do so.
  7. Once students are at their work bench have them read the lab procedures completely. (Use this as an opportunity to emphasize that you should read all the procedures before you begin any lab.)
  8. The students will complete the lab as follows:

Safety:

  1. Ensure you and your partner correctly have:
    • closed toed shoes
    • long hair tied back neatly and out of the way.
    • safety goggles, lab apron and gloves on.
    • Note: Do not remove any of these until your lab is completed, cleaned up, and you are instructed to do so by your teacher!
  2. Read all the instructions and do not pick up any lab equipment or begin until you are instructed to do so!

Lab Procedure:

  1. Pour two droppers full of vinegar into the test tube.
  2. Lie a Kleenex flat one your table and separate it out the Kleenex so that there is only one layer or ply.
  3. Use a spatula or plastic spoon and place about a half of a spoon of baking soda in the middle of the Kleenex.
  4. Pull up the sides of the Kleenex and twist to enclose the baking soda.
  5. Place the baking soda filled Kleenex in the test tube and then seal with the rubber stopper.
  6. Make sure the Kleenex filled baking soda is placed just above the vinegar (do not let it touch the vinegar).
  7. Approach the “firing line” when your teacher tells you to do so.
    • Place students at a line marked on the floor with tape about 6 feet from the poster. (I usually only allow 1 student at a time at the mark to shake the test tube and fire.)
  8. Aim your test tube at the target.
  9. Shake the test tube with the rubber stopper on it while aiming it at the poster or target (Do NOT begin shaking your test tube until you have it aimed at the target!)
    • Students will shake the test tube with the rubber stopper on it while aiming it at the poster or target. (make sure students don't shake it until they are aiming at the poster.)

Physical Science Lab Safety Activity #3

Wearing the proper personal protective equipment is important. In this lab we will learn how goggles, lab aprons, and gloves can protect you from chemicals.

Materials you will need:

  • Download the Lab Activity Worksheets below...
    • 1-3 Lab 3 Student Edition - Lab Safety (PDF - Members Only)
    • 1-3 Lab 3 Teacher Edition - Lab Safety (Members Only)
    • 1-3 Lab 3 Student Edition - Lab Safety (Doc - Members Only)
    • 1-3 Lab 3 Teacher Edition - Lab Safety (PDF - Members Only)
  • Cornstarch
  • Bunsen burner
  • Bunsen burner lighter
  • Ring
  • Cornstarch
  • Bunsen burner
  • Bunsen burner lighter

Preparation:

  • The teacher will be conducting this lab as a demo.
  • The demo lab table will be set up as follows:

Physical Science Lab Safety

Safety:

  1. Ensure you and your partner correctly have:
    • closed toed shoes
    • long hair tied back neatly and out of the way.
    • safety goggles, lab apron and gloves on.
    • Note: Do not remove any of these until your lab is completed, cleaned up, and you are instructed to do so by your teacher!
  2. Read all the instructions and do not pick up any lab equipment or begin until you are instructed to do so!
  3. Review the fire safety information below.

Fire Safety

All fires need three things to exist: a heat source, fuel, and oxygen. By removing one or more of these elements, the fire can be extinguished. Acting quickly and sensibly when there is a fire is essential to reduce the amount of damage the fire can cause.

If a student catches on fire…

If a student's clothing or hair should catch on fire the student should use Stop, Drop and Roll to smother the flame and extinguish it as soon as possible. Students should also use a fire blanket over the individual to put out the fire.

If a fire alarm goes off while you're in the lab you should…

  1. Extinguish all flames and turn off all gas sources.
  2. Exit the room in an orderly manner.
  3. Meet outside at your pre-appointed location.

Lab Safety Activity Middle School Procedure:

  1. Have a Bunsen burner lit at the end of a lab table and make sure students are seated a safe distance away (at least 2 meters distance)
  2. Teacher should be wearing goggles and apron.
  3. Heat the beaker of cornstarch on the gauze mat over the flame of the Bunsen burner to show students that the cornstarch does not ignite.
  4. Pour two tablespoons of cornstarch into the middle of a piece of construction paper.
  5. Roll the paper into a tube. Be sure to keep it level so the cornstarch does not leak out the ends. Point the tube at the top of the flame from approximately 75 cm away. Blow into the tube.
  6. Cornstarch explosion! If some lights are off it makes more of a light show. Remember don't breath in with your mouth on the tube or you'll get a big mouth full of cornstarch.

The Physical Science Lab Safety Activity:

Students record their predictions and results of the lab activity. Once the activity is finished, discuss the lab activity and answer post-lab questions.

We also provided some of the Resources below for you to use in class. iTeachly Members can access all the content for the activity and the following lesson.

Students must come up with a unanimous answer for each question. Discussing the answers usually, results in some excellent dialogue on this topic.

Here is your Free Content for the Lab Safety Part of the Lesson!

Physical Science Lab Safety - PDFs

Physical Science Lab Safety Worksheets - Word Docs & PowerPoints

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