Mrs. Dillingham’s Lab Disaster

Check out this teacher story and cartoon about why teaching about safety in your classroom, no matter how seemingly innocent or safe the activity you have planned is, is always a good idea. I’m still collecting teacher stories for the next 180Dayz book, submit yours now and get a free 180Dayz School Year Calendar!



“As a science teacher, I thought it would be a great idea to start the first day of school of with a simple lab activity. I wanted to introduce the students to the inquisitive and hands-on nature of science; something that would engage them and get them inspired and excited about the course. Since we haven’t delved into any content yet, it being the first day and all, I set up a very simple inquiry-based lab that involved mixing water and food coloring and writing down observations. Figuring the materials used were completely harmless, I didn’t spend any time going over lab safety. I quickly introduced the activity and let the students have at it. It wasn’t long before I heard two students giggling at the back of the room. As I approached the students, the young lady that had been giggling uncontrollably smiled at me the bluest smurf-eating smile I have ever seen. Apparently they thought it would be a good idea not just to mix the solutions, but to also drink their mixtures, resulting in their teeth, tongues, and mouths being stained blue! The very next day we spent the entire period watching lab safety films and completing lab safety quizzes. I learned a very valuable lesson that day that I want to share with all the future science teachers out there (which I believe could help any teacher in general): Never, ever, neglect teaching about safety. Trust me, your students will find and exploit the potential hazards in even the most simplest of activities!”

Mrs. Amanda Dillingham

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