I eventually realized that students were doing these same activities EVERY year. The rules were mostly common sense and I was determined to find a quicker, more engaging method of driving home the point of safety.
I came across an excellent article in NSTA's Science Scope magazine called "Good, Messy, Frothing Fun". It explained how to use a forensic crime scene to show the dangers of a science classroom lab if students disobey safety rules. I had always been a CSI fan so I first tried this activity a few years ago with great success. The original article called for an adult (principal, aide, parent, etc.) to lay down and pretend they were dead. I wasn't ready to go that far, nor do I want some poor sap to lie on my floor all day, so I use my team mascots, which are stuffed animals we have won through magazine drives.
|Billy Bob is dead!|
Students are very engaged and usually come up with elaborate theories of murder, and I am often considered a prime suspect. The crime scene gets more detailed every year. I even created a an audio recording of Billy Bob calling 9-1-1 to report that he accidentally drank chemicals because he confused it with the water he was drinking. You can listen to the audio recording below!