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It’s That Time! Back to School Basics in the Science Classroom

It’s That Time! Back to School Basics in the Science Classroom

Early September brings about all kinds of excitement surrounding the new school year—new classes, new students, and new ways to engage those students in your classrooms. But some things don’t change from year to year, including teaching proper lab safety, preparing your lab for the incoming students, and figuring out what to teach kids their first few days to get them excited about their new year with you, their teacher. Below, we review some of our favorite back-to-school posts to get you in the new-year mood whether you’re already back in the classroom or preparing for your first days to come.

Getting Your Lab Ready for the New Year

In this post, we help guide you through the basic steps for preparing your lab for the upcoming year. Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are still affecting how teachers instruct their students on a day-to-day basis, and it’s important that you (re)familiarize yourself with your lab and its equipment in anticipation of the arrival of students. To help you out, we’ve compiled a back-to-school checklist to complete as you prepare your lab for the new year. As you check off each item on the list, note what you need to replace to ensure a safe environment.

Viruses and Bacteria: Recognizing, Treating, and Preventing Infection

A clean classroom and properly cared for equipment doesn’t protect your students 100 percent from viruses and bacteria, and knowing their symptoms, treatment, and recovery can help you feel more in control of the health of your classroom or lab. In this post, we show you how viruses and bacteria operate and how you might combat the illnesses that can arise from contracting each. Furthermore, knowing the differences between viruses and bacteria can help you ask the right questions the next time you find yourself at the doctor.

Back to School Science Activities: Scavenger Hunts and Measuring Liquids

Now that your lab is prepped and ready for your students, here is a set of scavenger hunt downloadable pages to help you kick-start your new year in a way that keeps the excitement flowing for your grade-level students and makes the most of their curiosity. These templates, designed in-house by Liz Pearson, are a creative challenge for future scientists to learn about the tools and skills needed to embark on fun, safe science in the classroom.

And when it comes to measuring in the chemistry lab, the measurement of liquids is top of mind; many types of devices are used in a laboratory to accomplish this task. In this post, we discuss three: graduated cylinders, burettes, and pipettes with a bulb. Read on to learn the how, when, and why of using each.

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