Risk Assessment
Updated: 3/5/2019
Risk Assessment
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Experimental Design

By Oliver Smith


Teaching experimental design and letting students develop their own questions and hypotheses takes time. These materials have been created to scaffold and structure the process to allow teachers to focus on improving the key ideas in experimental design. Allowing students to ask their own questions, write their own hypotheses, and plan and carry out their own investigations is a valuable experience for them. This will lead to students having more ownership of their work.

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Lab Safety

By Oliver Smith


A solid understanding of lab safety practices is essential for our students to carry out practical work in the laboratory. Students love completing practical work and can learn a great deal from hands on activities. It's an effective way to teach the principle of scientific inquiry, develop student skills in measurement and observation, and to motivate and engage students, but safety must always come first. A good first step is ensuring that any practical activities are properly and thoroughly risk-assessed by the educator before the activity takes place. Educators should do the experiment or demonstration first before the lesson to understand any risks.

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Storyboard Description

Experimental Design Risk Assessment for science experiments

Storyboard Text

  • Running
  • Activity
  • Risk
  • Risk Management
  • Seeing how fast you can run 100 m
  • • Students could fall and hurt themselves • Asthma attack if students have asthma • Strained muscles
  • • Clear the running track of objects that people could fall over • If the participant has asthma check that they have their inhaler • Warm up and cool down effectively
  • Heating
  • Heating with a Bunsen burner
  • • Students could burn themselves • Students could set their hair alight • Students could damaged their eyes
  • • Leave the equipment to cool before touching it • Switch their Bunsen burner off when they finish heating • Wear safety googles when heating and tie hair back
  • Dissection
  • Dissecting a sheep's heart with scissors and scalpel
  • • Students could cut themselves while using scalpel or scissors • Students could get food poisoning from contaminated hearts
  • • Don't walk around with scalpel or scissors • Wear gloves during dissection and wash hands after dissection • Disinfect desks and materials after the dissection
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