Safety in Science


The use of laboratory investigations has played a vital role in distinguishing science from most other disciplines encountered in the classroom. Just as scientists acquire knowledge through a process of experimentation, students learn to appreciate how this wealth of knowledge was accumulated by simulating this same investigative process.

Without the laboratory experience as an integral part of the scientific process, only facts can be memorized. A true feeling for the process is lost. It is of vital importance that a laboratory component be incorporated into the science curriculum.

Once the laboratory component has been added to a curriculum, it becomes necessary for a teacher to understand that additional safety requirements and procedures must be implemented. These additions will provide for a more safe and meaningful experience for students.

This manual was written to provide basic safety information in the science laboratory and classroom, and outlines a method for proper chemical storage, handling and disposal. Particular emphasis was placed on the appropriate use of equipment and the selection of chemicals that are deemed safe to use in the K-12 academic environment.

Science Safety Plan

Florida Department of Environmental Protection School Chemical Cleanout Campaign (SC3): https://floridadep.gov/waste/permitting-compliance-assistance/content/school-chemical-cleanout-campaign-sc3

State Science Safety Manual (PDF)

PJ Duncan
Director, Office of STEM
Bureau of Standards and Instructional Support
325 W. Gaines Street, Suite 424
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0400
850-245-0808
Patricia.Duncan@fldoe.org