Use of PTC Paper – submitted by Dave Gervais, Chair STAO Safety Committee

Introduction:

Since its discovery in 1932, PTC paper has been a popular activity for students studying genetics. It is used to determine the genotypes of individuals, and is bitter tasting. It has been tied to the evolutionary advantage allowing some primates to detect toxins in a potential food. Foods containing PTC like substances may be avoided by tasters (broccoli, water cress).

Click here for the complete document 

 

Battery fires: The potential danger hiding in your kitchen junk drawer at Christmas and year-round

Health Canada says it received more than 100 consumer reports over the last year involving batteries — everything from overheating to starting fires.

Source: Battery fires: The potential danger hiding in your kitchen junk drawer at Christmas and year-round

Live Animals in the Classroom Safety Notes – submitted by Flinn Scientific Canada

Studying living organisms in biology and life science is a “natural” way to engage students and
nurture their interest in biology. Keeping live animals requires thoughtful consideration of learning
goals, school policies, and potential dangers.

Click here to go to the source of ‘Live Animals in the Classroom’. 

Website:  https://www.flinnsci.ca/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/flinnscientificcanada

 

 

STAO Safety Mindedness Teacher Training Resource -Updated with Closed Captioning!!!

Closed Captioning Update

The STAO Safety Mindedness (SSM) program is an interactive online training program to train teachers on common safety-related issues in a typical Science (Grades 9–12) and Science and Technology (Grades K–8) programs. SSM is an easy to use, flexible and cost-effective strategy to meet your school’s safety training needs. The training provided by this program helps promote a culture of safety mindedness in your school. SSM has just been updated to include closed captioning.

Content 

Both the elementary and secondary versions of SSM are divided into 8 convenient modules.  The content of each module is consistent with STAO’s safety reference texts, ‘Safety in Elementary Science and Technology’ and ‘Safe On Science, Second Edition’.

Click here for content details 

Access

SSM is available, free of charge, to all teachers and can be accessed from the STAO website, blog, or via the following links.  School boards are encouraged to run SSM off their internal servers at no cost.  Contact info@stao.org for details.

School Board Customization Services Available.

SSM can be customized to include board-specific content, e.g., logos, inserts (customization charges will apply). Contact info@stao.org for details.

 

Sample Science Safety Contract from Flinn

Science is a hands-on laboratory class. You will be doing many laboratory activities that require the use of hazardous chemicals. Safety in the science classroom is the #1 priority for students, teachers and parents. To ensure a safe science classroom, a list of rules has been developed and provided to you in this student safety contract. These rules must be followed at all times. Two copies of the contract should be used. One copy should be signed by both the student and a parent or guardian and turned in before participating in the laboratory. The second copy should be kept in the student’s science notebook as a constant reminder of the safety rules.

Click here to go to the source of the safety contract

Learning by Accident: Spotty Evidence!

sudan IV, oil and water

sudan IV, oil and water

Curriculum Connection: High-school Biology

I was preparing Sudan IV for a nutrient lab for grade 11 SBI3C biology. In order to use the chemical as an indicator for fats and oils, I needed to mix the Sudan IV powder with ethanol. I followed proper safety precautions (gloves, goggles, fume hood). Somehow, a small amount of the Sudan IV powder got on my hand. I promptly washed my hands with soap and water, and checked the MSDS which advised me to flush the exposed area with water. After flushing, my hand appeared to be clean. Continue reading