Academic journal article The Science Teacher

STEM Safety: A Collaborative Effort

Academic journal article The Science Teacher

STEM Safety: A Collaborative Effort

Article excerpt

Both the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and integrated science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) curricula advocate multidimensional teaching. Ideally, teachers in these content areas work together. In practice, educators are often charged with teaching across all four STEM disciplines. Accordingly, science teachers must receive multidiscipline safety training. This is especially critical if teachers work with potentially hazardous, specialized equipment such as hand and power tools.


In the STEM instructional laboratory, legal safety standards and better professional practices cover the component disciplines. Court rulings on school laboratory accidents have established precedents under tort law (see "On the web").

Science teachers need to make sure their school district has developed standard operating procedures for safety and that they have had documented safety training prior to and during their assignment to STEM coursework. Safety training helps teachers avoid and reduce the number of lab accidents as well as their liability in the event of an accident.

To develop standard operating procedures for safety, science teachers should discuss with their technology and engineering colleagues the appropriate safety protocols and procedures for specialized equipment, including hazardous equipment (e.g., hand and power tools), engineering controls (e.g., eyewash/shower and power control switches), and personal protective equipment (e.g., safety goggles or glasses) (see "On the web").

After getting formal safety training and adopting safety protocols, a good next step is using instructional resources, including supplemental safety materials (e.g., safety acknowledgment forms, posters, and tests for machines and tools), along with additional safety recommendations for a STEM laboratory. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.