THIS DAY IN SCIENCE: Penicillin Is Discovered - Sir Alexander Fleming in 1928

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One of our science teachers visited the STAO Conference in the fall and brought back an exercise on extracting a circuit from a disposable camera. He is keen for all of the grade 9 science students to complete the lab. However, several of the science teachers have expressed concerns that students may experience painful shocks during the activity. One of the teachers forwarded a website about some of the dangers of the activity. The website said that the circuit could store a voltage as great as 320 V and that it was recommended that students only use one hand to complete the activity in order to prevent the current from passing from one hand through the body (and heart) and to the other hand. I have noticed that this activity will be presented at our PD session at the Ontario Science Centre. Because three of our staff expressed safety concerns (and concerns about students experiencing unpleasant shocks). I spoke with our principal about the activity. He was concerned about safety issues and wanted me to ask you if you thought that this lab might be considered a ‘high risk’ activity. Do you think that we need to send home permission forms to the parents just in case a student might have a medical condition that would make it dangerous for them to participate in the activity? We have discussed the possibility of having each student wearing rubber/latex gloves. What are your thoughts on this entire issue?

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