10 Tips for Creating Social Distance in Your Science Classroom
We’ve put together a list of recommendations to help you as you plan labs and science activities for the year.
Creating and maintaining social distance in your classroom shouldn’t be a pain point. We’ve put together a list of recommendations to help you as you plan labs and science activities for the year.
Follow all routine safety precautions. Review the lab safety rules at the start of the school year.
During the pandemic, students should have their own personal protective equipment (PPE), including goggles, gloves, and aprons. If this isn’t possible, shared items need to be thoroughly cleaned and sterilized between each use.
Encourage frequent handwashing, and provide hand soap at every sink.
Lab benches and other classroom areas should be cleaned and disinfected regularly.
a. A spray bottle of methanol can be used to wipe down lab stations before and after every lab activity. (Make sure there are no open flames or active heat sources before spraying.)
Modify labs to remove the need for lab partners.
a. Students can record their lab experiments with their cell phones and review the video to record observations.
b. Consider demos, videos, or virtual alternatives for labs that can’t be modified for social distancing or when students are learning remotely.
Each student needs a lab station appropriately distanced from other students.
a. Plexiglass barriers or small whiteboards can be used as partitions.
b. Disposable cups and disposable pipets can be used to dispense water if sinks are limited in your lab.
c. Alcohol burners can be used if gas ports are not available.
d. Each lab station needs its own waste receptacle.
Students should have their own lab equipment.
b. Fixed volume pipets are good options for your biotech classroom.
c. Students can use their cell phones as timers or stopwatches. Cell phones can even be used for spectroscopy.
d. Consider providing a personal-size hand sanitizer for each student.
e. Cleaned single-serving packaging like fruit cups or microwave meal containers can be helpful for holding materials for individual students.
Minimize traffic at supply stations.
a. Place all needed materials for each student in labeled boxes or baskets to minimize unnecessary handling.
b. Chemicals can be purchased in smaller volumes for each student.
c. Place a lower cost digital balance at each lab station.
Stay organized. Use boxes or baskets to keep lab materials together, especially for multiday labs.
Minimize the need to distribute and handle papers.
a. Digital lab manuals and other digital resources not only minimize paper exchange but can also provide tutorials, simulations, or videos of lab techniques to facilitate instruction.
b. Have students submit lab reports electronically.
The Carolina Kits 3D® Flex program was designed with all of these principles in mind. Each kit includes the materials a high school student needs for all of the labs in a biology or chemistry course. Individual PPE, lab equipment, and consumables come prepackaged in a box to minimize teacher preparation time, thus minimizing handling and contamination. Virtual lessons, videos, and digital manuals are included for additional instruction in the classroom or remotely. All materials are safe for home use, so hands-on labs can continue even if students are learning from home.
Learn more about Carolina Kits 3D® Flex and how it can support student needs in the socially distanced classroom.