Starting with Grade 6, students undergo a mandatory laboratory training led by FIS Lab Assistant, Sandrine Bachmann. This is done to promote curiosity and interest in our Science students, while also maintaining and ensuring their safety.
Beforehand, a laboratory safety regulation sheet is distributed to all students, with copies available to parents as well via the Parent Portal. A poster with the ten most important lab rules is available in each lab, too.
During the training as such, lab rules, working procedures, do’s and don’ts are discussed. The positions of the emergency switches are localized and Ms. Bachmann demonstrates the use of equipment like an eye rinser.
As the students progress to Grades 9 and 10, focus is placed on explaining the GHS (Global Harmonized System) labels, and introducing the meaning of the H&P (Hazards and Precautions) phrases written on each hazardous compound.
Introducing practical and hand-on ways of learning is an important part of the lab safety training including risk assessments for different experiments.
This year, for example, Ms. Bachmann tried something new with students in Grade 11 and 12. “I gave each of them a realistic scenario about an accident,” she explains. “The students worked in pairs to reflect on it. They then discussed the causes of the accident, what went wrong, and what protective measures should have been taken to avoid the accident.
In recent years, a lesson on how to conduct risk assessment has also been introduced as a precursor to the DP Science Internal Assessments (IA). After choosing a topic for their IAs, each Grade 11 student discusses it individually with Ms. Bachmann to evaluate risks, and teachers to choose pertinent research questions, and consider dependent variables.