Lab Equipment and Safety

Our work this week focuses on lab safety and demonstrating basic lab skills.  For our first chemistry lesson of the year, students will be introduced to the daily structure of the class after a reminder of expectations for appropriate classroom conduct and readiness as detailed in the class syllabus and the student safety contract.

Lessons generally begin with a few slides from a PowerPoint slide deck.  The complete slide deck will always be posted to the class website, both to serve as review for students and as a resource in the rare event of a student absence.  We will focus on the ChemCatalyst and Check-in slides for the Lesson 01 PowerPoint.

Next, students will receive instruction on how to complete the work for today.  The goal is to leave class with an awareness of the different pieces of equipment in a general chemistry lab.  Students will each receive a copy of the Lesson 01 Student Worksheet with a reminder that Part 1 was completed last week.  Our work today will be to complete Part 2.  Students will work in teams to create a Google Slides presentation containing a description of the laboratory equipment in their assigned list.  For each piece of equipment, the description should include:

  • a picture of the equipment
  • an explanation of how the equipment is used
  • an explanation of why the equipment is used

Next, students must work across teams to obtain presentations from all of the other groups.  Teams should cross-reference the information on slides from other teams with the Lesson 01 Equipment Cards to ensure accuracy.  To receive credit for the assignment, one representative from each team should share the presentation with the teacher.  Be sure to include the names of each team member in the presentation.


Updated September 11: Click here for an excellent example of a completed slide deck of the equipment included in the activity.


Before the end of class, students who have not already done so will receive two copies each of the class syllabus and the student safety contract (all signed by student and guardian, one copy of each turned in to the teacher by Friday and the other kept in the student lab notebook), a copy of the letter home to families of chemistry students, as well as the Chapter 01 Notes.

Homework for this evening:

  • Read Lesson 1 in the textbook.
  • Write notes for Lesson 1 on the Chapter 01 Notes handout.
  • Work through the homework problems at the end of the lesson and then verify accuracy with the Lesson 01 Homework Answers.
  • Read Lesson 2 in the textbook.
  • Write notes for Lesson 2 on the Chapter 01 Notes handout.
  • Come to class tomorrow prepared to ask questions about anything you read in lessons 1 or 2, or homework problems from lesson 1 you did not understand.
  • Return signed copy of syllabus (due no later than Friday).
  • Return signed copy of student safety contract (due no later than Friday).

Real-world applications:

There are a wide variety of jobs associated with lab equipment and lab safety, including (but not limited to) engineering, manufacturing, sales and marketing, training, equipment certification, and environmental health and safety (EH&S) professionals.

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