Sciences are based on experimentation and research, so it should come as no surprise that physics lessons are also heavily lab-based.
These days, physics lab lessons in school are more for demonstration and learning rather than research. However, if you embark on physics for your higher education, you may get the chance to conduct studies that will contribute to new findings in science.
Thus, knowing how to behave in a lab setting is exceptionally important. Apart from ensuring your experiment is conducted accurately, proper conduct in the lab will go a long way in preventing accidents and keeping people safe.
Here are some of the most important steps to ensure a safe lab lesson:
It is essential to listen to your instructor or lab supervisor. This is very important for the success of your experiment, and the safety of yourself and those around you. Although it may be tempting to do so, make sure never to embark on any self-initiated experiments. As all lab equipment and apparatus are made for a specific reason, get familiar with how they are used and never use them for unintended purposes.
Know where to locate the safety equipment
At the start of every new year, teachers typically brief students on where the safety equipment is in the lab. However, you should remember this information at all times! The most important components to take note of are the fire extinguisher, emergency shower, and first-aid kit. Ideally, these should be kept up-to-date and readily available in every lab.
Depending on the risks involved in the experiment, you may be required to dress in protective gear for your lab session. The dress code may include a lab coat, safety goggles, and rubber gloves. Even if these items are not required, it is advisable to avoid loose clothing and fasten up long hair so that these do not get in the way of your experiment.
Do not eat or drink in the laboratory
The laboratory is not a place for eating or drinking, as it is fraught with chemicals and contaminants that are dangerous when ingested. You do not want to run the risk of accidentally ingesting a wrong substance, or having any chemicals splash into your food unknowingly. In addition, the food or drinks you bring in may pose a hazard to the integrity of your experiment if, for example, you spill anything on the lab equipment.
Disposing of lab waste properly
Accidental breakage of lab equipment is a common occurrence. What’s important is how you deal with it afterwards. If you break anything, report it to your teacher immediately so that they can alert the class to any potential dangers such as spilt chemicals or glass shards to avoid. Then, you should follow the correct protocol to dispose of it. For example, glassware and other sharp items should always be disposed of in a separate bin to avoid endangering the person clearing the thrash afterwards.
Physics lab lessons can be kept safe and enjoyable if you follow the necessary safety measures. If these experiments help you remember the concepts better, you can enrol in a physics tuition class that provides interactive in-class demonstrations. Available as physics tuition for sec 3 all the way to A-Level physics tuition, these physics tuition classes are a great place to learn and witness science concepts coming to life.