They’re the best and most fun part of learning science; they make the subject more interesting and help you understand its principles and theories better; and they bring to life science lessons and eliminate boredom from the classroom. Yes, experiments are the key to learning and understanding science better. However, if you don’t exercise caution when trying them out, you could end up getting badly hurt and/or causing accidental injuries to those around you. Before you begin:
- Ensure that you have an adult around to supervise your experiment, a teacher or a parent or an older sibling who is responsible and can provide first aid and/or call for help if the need arises.
- Use an uncluttered and clean work area to do your experiment.
- Don’t try out your own experiments, especially if chemicals, fire and other dangerous elements are involved.
- Don’t perform experiments at home if they have been forbidden by your teacher.
- Keep a fire extinguisher handy if you’re using fire as part of your experiment.
- Wear shoes with rubber soles if you’re going to be using electricity.
- Protect your clothes from liquids that stain with overalls, a lab coat or an apron.
- Protect your hands, eyes and skin from acids, other corrosive substances, and flying shrapnel from broken canisters and beakers with gloves, goggles and full-sleeved shirts.
- Stand back from expected mini explosions.
- Open out the windows after an experiment that produces foul-smelling gases like Hydrogen Sulfide.
- Never taste any liquid or salt out of curiosity – it could have adverse effects.
- Tie your hair back and away from your face to prevent it from getting caught in moving mechanisms or fire.
- Do not eat or drink while performing the experiment; after you’re done, wash up thoroughly before touching food.
- And finally, leave your workspace in the same condition that you found it; clean up spills and don’t leave trash lying around. This too is a precautionary measure if you want your mom to let you continue with these experiments at home!
Science is fun and interesting; it’s up to you to ensure that it remains this way by making it safe too.