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In this issue, the middle level edition of Science Class will focus on Safety in the Science Classroom. Each theme will be supported by a range of NSTA-approved teaching resources: news stories, Internet "SciLinks®," books, and NSTA journal articles.


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Safety in the Science Classroom

Safety in the science classroom has become an increasingly complex issue in recent years. While teachers have advocated more hands-on experiments to make science attractive to students, educators have had to factor in state budget cuts, overcrowded classrooms, and the threat of parental lawsuits resulting from lab mishaps into their teaching practices. According to the NSTA's position paper on Safety and School Science Instruction (http://www.nsta.org/pssafety), "Inherent in many instructional settings including science is the potential for injury and possible litigation. These issues can be avoided or reduced by the proper application of a safety plan."

Safety experts note that creating a safe science classroom need not be a daunting task if teachers have the right tools and knowledge. For full text of the American Chemical Society's 32-page safety guide, visit: http://membership.acs.org/c/ccs/pubs/chemical_safety_manual.pdf. In this issue of Science Class, you will find various resources—news and journal articles, books, and websites—to help you turn your science classroom into a safe learning environment. Read on to learn how these resources can help you teach science safely!

Classroom Safety in the News

Science educators reading today's headlines will notice news stories about science safety focus on lab mishaps, but safety experts say such accidents can be avoided. Read two articles from Education Week and The Christian Science Monitor that offer a wealth of suggestions and resources for creating a safe science classroom as well as an in-depth look at science safety through a study conducted by researchers at Drake University in Iowa.

Article summaries provided by the NSTA WebNews Service.

Click here to read the latest:


Classroom Safety on the Net

SciLinks® is a web-based service from NSTA that provides online content chosen for selected keywords. This month's SciLink keyword is:

Safety in the Science Classroom: http://www.scilinks.org/retrieve_outside.asp?sl=9263565510661033

Classroom Safety in NSTA Journal Articles

NSTA journal articles feature safety guidelines to ensure successful teaching in the classroom; these tips are embedded in each article. Because articles include safety, but are rarely about safety exclusively, we decided to feature the safety symbols that appear in our articles. The suggested safety tips are useful for students and teachers alike.

To learn what the symbols are and what they mean, click here:


Books on Classroom Safety

Check out these titles from NSTA Recommends:


Professional Development


JASON Opens New Online Courses: Teaching Science Safely

Starting June 23, the JASON Academy will offer an online course called "Teaching Science Safely in the Middle School." This online safety course leads teachers and administrators to investigate best practices in classroom and school safety and discuss criteria for making important decisions in the selection of methods and materials. The legal implications of classroom practice are also addressed.

Click here to learn more or to register:


AAAS Project 2061 Offering New Professional Development Workshops on Atlas of Science Literacy

In 2001, Project 2061 and NSTA published the Atlas of Science Literacy, a collection of conceptual strand maps for nearly 50 key topics in science, mathematics, and technology. This three-day Atlas workshop demonstrates how you can use the Atlas maps (and related Project 2061 resources) to enhance your own understanding of literacy and to improve your curriculum, instruction, and assessment.

Click here to learn more or to register:


NSTA Opportunities

Send NSTA Your Safety Tips

The 10 best classroom safety tips will win a copy of NSTA's Inquiring Safely: A Guide for Middle School Teachers. Send us yours today!


Write for NSTA's Journals

NSTA needs your expertise. To find out how, visit:

Science Scope (Grades 5–8) http://science.nsta.org/enewsletter/2003-06/scope.htm

Next Month's Theme:

Free Opportunities for Teachers

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