Keeping busy at school

Use this time to bring all safety requirements up to date – including Risk Assessments, SDS’s and the Hazardous Substance Register

Check/refurbish First Aid Cabinet

Wear gloves, check the condition of all safety glasses then wash in warm soapy water, rinse and air dry as per Should shared safety glasses be decontaminated after each use? Q and A published by Science Assist.

Service and clean all microscopes – see RLTG Science Manual

Clean outside of all electronic balances

Clean shelves/cupboards and everything on/in them

Wash articulated skeletons and repair where necessary

Check over Bunsen Burners and clean; check gas taps are unblocked; emergency buttons are working; check gas cylinders are secured and clean

Check all showers and eye wash stations are working well; fire-fighting equipment has been checked during the past 6 months; check smoke alarms are functioning; ensure that there is an updated evacuation map including instructions next to every door

Carefully check all glassware for cracks and sharp edges; de-stain/discard discoloured test tubes

Sort out those rocks

Reorganise and tidy the physics storeroom, clean and maintain equipment

Arrange for the Testing and Tagging of portable electrical equipment or do it yourself if qualified

Check all electrical leads and plugs are undamaged; remove from use and label any needing professional electrical attention

Check short electrical leads and change alligator/crocodile clips or make some more

Recharge batteries

Check compasses still work

Conduct the annual test of Radioactive Sources: inspection, wipe test and contamination – see Science ASSIST ‘s Handling sealed radioactive sources: alpha, beta and gamma , page 8

Audit the chem store; check labels are good and containers are sturdy, mark no longer used chemicals with a big red cross for disposal at a later date but leave in correct storage area; check extractor fan and door lock are well maintained; clean shelving and sweep out

Put together or check your Chemical Spill Kit – See RLTG Science Manual

Arrange the annual inspection of the Fume Hood – see web page for local suppliers www.labnetwest.asn.au – password to ‘Members’ tab is kingdom

For a comprehensive maintenance list from Science ASSIST please check Plant and equipment maintenance and servicing schedules for optimum performance, safety and to meet compliance

Close down the lab as if it is the end of year, cleaning out the fridge, disposing of any perishables, defrost the chest freezer and fridge. Leave the science area in a tidy and secure manner.

Advise suppliers of recent orders that your school will be closed and make alternate arrangements, e.g. to defer delivery until the schools have reopened

Maintain herb and vegetable beds, any aquaponics setup, outdoor fish ponds and animal enclosures, clean aquariums

Prepare the Science Budget in advance by obtaining pricing for equipment

Preparation of return to school re supplies etc (keep in front of those practicalities so helps with smooth return)

If working alone do not make up acid solutions etc and make arrangements to contact or see someone else in the school every couple of hours; keep the outside doors locked

Set up Stocktake sheets/Science Catalogue – long job – MM has a catalogue which may be useful

Take an opportunity to improve lab prep and/or classrooms i.e. sketch new design/layout, budget for furniture

Go through all the files and notebooks that you have taken and collected over the years and throw out any things that are now superseded, banned or just not used. If you are not going to use it again, get rid of it

Our usual role of supporting our teachers while they are at home conducting online classes

a.      including finding online resources for teachers re pracs;

b.      planning rosters for different pracs for year groups so teachers are not doubling up doing the same thing for the same year groups

c.      helping with supplies if they are conducting a home demonstration

d.      if we are allowed some access to school we can video specific pracs for the teachers to use

Get very acquainted with the Science ASSIST web site and discover mountains of information https://assist.asta.edu.au/

a)      Bookmark their QUICK LINKS TO TECHNICAL RESOURCES page.

b)      Read their “Guidelines for the design and planning of secondary school science facilities in Australian schools’ document.

Keeping busy working from Home

Update labels if necessary, print and file alphabetically for easy reference

Going through filing cabinets and paperwork and organising things better so it’s easier to access certain things in less time

Making labels and signs, laminating and sticking on the Velcro tabs etc. ready for the wall

Taking home stick insects/mealworms/pets and care for them at home

Make up a few more quadrats for biology

Wash lab coats and sew on missing buttons/press studs

Redo experiment sheets and laminate them, update procedures etc. for student use

Sew fabric covers for all the microscopes to replace the old plastic ones that get torn and discoloured

I know this one is not for everyone, but I have sourced some periodic table fabric from Spotlight and am going to sew new curtains for the Science teaching staff office and the Lab Tech office.  I also purchased some other science fabric to make tablecloths for both rooms.