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Safety in the FOSS Classroom

Safety is important in the FOSS classroom. We want students to have a positive learning experience with FOSS in an engaging and safe manner.

Below are some resources and information directed specifically at safety in the FOSS classroom.

FOSS Science Safety Posters

Each module includes two science safety posters in the materials boxes: “FOSS Safety” and “Outdoor Safety” posters. Post these posters in your classroom and refer to them often as you direct students through FOSS investigations.

If your posters are missing from your materials or have become a little worn from use, you can download them here:

  • FOSS Safety Poster: This poster provides general safety guidelines for the classroom.
  • Outdoor Safety Poster: This poster provides additional safety guidelines specific to working with students in the outdoor environment.

Posters are also available in Spanish:

Safety Data Sheets

Most of the chemical components found in the FOSS kits are common household items that are readily available to consumers. Misuse or mishandling of these materials is a potential safety hazard to teachers and students. Safety Data Sheets (SDS) describe the basic hazards of a material, and how the material can be safely handled, used, and stored. They are prepared in accordance with guidelines established by the Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Hazard Communication Standard.

You can search for specific Safety Data Sheets here.

If you have questions regarding any SDS, call Delta Education toll free at 800-258-1302 (Monday-Friday 8am-6pm EST). If there's an emergency, you can contact Chemtrec toll free at 800-424-9300 (24 hours per day).

Safety Citations in the Investigations Guide

There are dedicated places within the Investigations Guide designed to call attention to classroom safety. The first place is in the Overview Chapter. You will find a section titled, “Safety in the Classroom and Outdoors” in every Overview Chapter.

The Getting Ready section for Investigation 1, Part 1 also has a Step dedicated to classroom safety. Please read the specific safety verbiage for each module.

Within the flow of the investigation, look for the safety icon next to the Steps where safety concerns are called out.

You may also find additional safety concerns that have come up from teachers in the field. Please refer to the “Module Teaching Notes” on FOSSweb periodically to see if new concerns are addressed. Finally, if you are teaching a life science module, there are special considerations for safety, both for students and organisms, when dealing with live organisms. Please refer to the Plant and Animal Care for specific safety concerns for the different organisms used in FOSS.