Reviewed by Juliana Texley
NSTA Web Field Editor
Find it fast and do it right. That's one of the values of NSTA's Ready-Reference Guide to Safer Science, a paperback that should sit on every teacher's desk. The author, Kenneth Russell Roy, has been assisting teachers with regular columns in NSTA journals for years; now his articles have been collated and organized in a way that you can't do without.
The guide includes concise answers to questions from "What kind of fire extinguisher does this classroom need?" to "How should hands be washed in this classroom?" The book's organization and direct answers provide the sort of guidance that makes decision making easy. The book is a great source of ammunition in discussions with administrators, too: "Here's why my classroom must be next to the storeroom" or "These are the best-practice guidelines for class size." Each section is clear, practical, and current.
One of the book's appendixes features real questions from classroom teachers, with the sort of common-sense answers that everyone needs. A second compiles NSTA's position statements for easy access.
There are many suggestions for practical steps to minimize hazards and liability, including forms, preparation guides, and even alternative chemicals for familiar experiments. This guide makes a great companion publication to the appropriate grade-level safety guide from NSTA, and it is an essential part of every teacher's classroom library. It also makes a great holiday gift for a teacher or administrator at a school near you.
Review posted on 11/15/2007