201494 School science lab safety trainings on a dime

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Jennifer K. Campbell, MPH, CHES , Center for School and Community Health Education, UMDNJ-SPH, New Brunswick, NJ
Laura Hemminger, MPH, CHES , Center for School and Community Health Education, UMDNJ-SPH, New Brunswick, NJ
Pauline De La Cruz, MPH candidate , Center for School and Community Health Education, UMDNJ-SPH, New Brunswick, NJ
Derek G. Shendell, DEnv, MPH , Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, UMDNJ-SPH (and EOHSI, and consultant to GSU IPH), Piscataway, NJ
As more pressure is put on high schools to prepare students to pass state science achievement tests and recruit students into science careers, schools are embracing more sophisticated science, such as robotics, forensics, and nanotechnology, with a greater emphasis on doing experiments. This raises questions about the schools' ability to ensure students' health and safety in science labs. In Fall 2008, a model for offering school science lab safety trainings for high school science teachers and supervisors was developed and pilot-tested in New Jersey. The training focused on basic and applied science with laboratory components. Representatives from state departments of education, health and environmental protection, as well as local health department personnel, public health scientists and experts in science education collaborated to provide the trainings inexpensively. The training agenda included an introduction to federal and state regulations; laboratory space recommendations; chemical management; emergency/first aid and personal protective equipment; exposure assessment; and training and assessing students on safety issues. The pilot-test of the school science lab safety trainings included three one-day regional trainings throughout New Jersey. Fifty-four science teachers and supervisors attended the pilot-test trainings and provided feedback. Pilot-test evaluation measures include workshop and follow-up evaluations. This session will describe the science labs safety training model, and provide participants with the tools to conduct similar trainings for local teachers. The lessons learned, challenges and evaluation results of the trainings will also be featured.

Learning Objectives:
1. Design school science lab safety trainings. 2. Discuss evaluation results of school science lab safety trainings.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have experience with program development and implementation, as well as experience working in science laboratories.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.