COVID-19: Safety Guidelines and Learning Solutions for a Science Classroom

James Palcik

Since the emergence of COVID-19, the world hasn't been the same. There have been a series of lockdowns in different parts of the world. The labor market got a new face as most people except the frontline workers had to work from home. Our students were sent home because of their safety. Now, we have to manage the spread by observing all the necessary prevention protocols. At Flinn, we have prepared some guides that ensure the safety of teachers and students as they resume back to school instruction. We have set guidelines in accordance with the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), and North American Center for Threat Assessment and Trauma Response (NACTATR) guidelines.

Safety and Cleaning Recommendation for Classroom Setups

The guidelines are as follows :

  • The reinforcement of positive personal hygiene practices. You need to remind your students to maintain a clean and safe workspace and personal environment at all times.
  • Guide your students on how to safely transition between learning spaces while still maintaining physical distancing.
  • Encourage students and staff to practice hand hygiene etiquette through the proper washing of hands for 20 seconds or how to properly sanitize hands as they enter and exit the classroom/lab area.
  • Staff should be properly trained on how to apply disinfectant safely and have access to the appropriate personal protective equipment needed.
  • The WHO, CDC, OECD, UNICEF and other recognized authorities recommend the use of warm soapy water or disinfectant or sanitizer for the sanitization of high-use items such as lab equipment, art supplies, math manipulative, toys, sports equipment and other tactile learning products.
  • If you are using hands-on activities with your students, and they are required to work together closely, have them wear PPE including face masks to minimize the spread of airborne droplets and strictly enforce the sanitation and disinfection for students and their equipment both pre-and-post-usage.

Guidelines for Shared Workspace

If your students will be working via workspace, then you should implement the following guidelines:

  • Plan for opportunities for students to sanitize their workspace using disinfectant wipes or disinfectant/sanitizer on a paper towel.
  • It is ideal for every student to have their own individual set of common supplies to minimize interactions and possible exposure.
  • You should properly clean and disinfect shared lab workspaces between classes using approved disinfectant or sanitizer as provided by the school.

Guidelines for Lab Equipment and Activity Supplies

  • You should limit the use of equipment, apparatus, instrumentation and materials that would be passed between students in a class. The items used should be sanitized before and after use.
  • You should sanitize every goggle with the ‘Lysol Dip’ method before any student uses it.
  • Follow CDC guidance on equipment sanitization procedures and those in place in your school district.
  • You should disinfect materials that students won't put in their mouths by using approved disinfectants and following the procedures exactly.

If all these guidelines are followed strictly, the safety of everyone in the school system is guaranteed.

Learning Solutions Provided by Flinn Scientific

The school year during Covid-19 is much different from all the ones before it. Some challenges need to be tackled to ensure the quality delivery of knowledge to students. Flinn has provided some tools that will enhance learning in this period. Here they are

Science2Go

This is a digital learning platform where middle school and high school students engage in science and engineering practices in any learning environment without access to supplies or equipment. Science2Go is the perfect solution for remote, hybrid and in-school learning. It's loaded with curriculum disciplines and topics for general and honors science classes.  We can help you ‘do science’ without the supplies!

360Science

It is a customizable lab solution that surrounds teachers with all they need to guide students in exploring and doing science around real-world phenomena - with a unique combination of differentiated hands-on lab experiences that are complemented by robust digital activities. Educators can customize lessons based on students' levels in the high school classroom. There's also the 360Storylines which is designed to provide all of the tools needed to guide students to a clear understanding of a phenomenon.

Flinnprep

This is a complete learning solution that helps prepare and support students as they interact with the fast pace and rigor of Advanced Academic science courses. This covers the full AP® Curriculum, from the hands-on to the conceptual, all the way to the exam.  This can also be used for enhancing mainstream science programs and as practice for the Regents and AP courses.

You can get all these guidelines and learning solutions at www.flinnsci.com.