Monday, April 2, 2018

Applying Good Lab Practices for Safety in the Science Classroom

The science classroom can be a magical place for students.  They will uncover the world around them with hands-on science laboratories.  Things may bubble, change colors, or move in amazing ways.
The science classroom can also be an overwhelming place for teachers and students.  Teachers need to get the supplies for the activities.  They need to organize it so the students achieve the correct results.  Budgets are tight and supplies are limited.  Each student needs to work in a group to save on supplies.  This means group cooperation.  Students need to follow safety precautions as well.  If you are a science teacher you have had that lab that just didn't go right or that one group that argued the whole time.  Several groups may have gotten the wrong results and now you are re-teaching the concept.  It happens, it is science.  We need to find a classroom management strategy that works.  

How can we create a better experience?

My husband is a toxicologist.  Yes, two science geeks in the house.  He works in clinical labs testing the safety of materials.  Consistent data is a must and procedures must be followed.  Most experiments are for approval from the FDA or EPA. He would always talk about how a lab was a GLP lab(Good Lab Practices).  He would mention that he was the study director or that the QA was coming over to check on things.  I started wondering what are these group roles and would they work in the science classroom.  What exactly is GLP? 

Assigning group roles really helps experiments go more smoothly.  I use to use
roles like Recorder, Gopher( goes for this and goes for that), Measurer, etc.  I wondered if things would go smoother if I had GLP in my class.  It would be more like a true lab.  GLP stands for Good Lab Practices.  That would make a lot of sense to my students.  So I integrated Good Lab Practices in with science safety and cooperative groups.  Now I don't say. "Follow the safety rules." I say to students "Are you using Good Lab Practices?" 

Students take on the roles of Study Director, Quality Assurance, etc.  The labs go more smoothly, data is more consistent, and clean-up is better.  The terms help them learn about a true lab.  This is a great way to integrate with STEM lessons.  Students take the labs more seriously and it is lots of fun.

It doesn't necessarily make my classroom quiet.  I find science classrooms at never quiet.  They need to be able to discuss what is going on and they do get excited.  That doesn't both me as long as they are following good lab practices.

Everything you need to teach your students is available in the download.  It is easy prep.  You can also get more creative with your bulletin board and role cards by adding colorful paper and laminating. 

It is available on my store.

Would you like a free sample.

1 comment:

  1. My favorite idea was taking bacteria from your hands and seeing the difference of using hand sanitizer vs.soap and water.