Science Lab Safety and Science Investigation Standards

Posted: Dec. 2, 2021

NSELA member Dr. Sandra West Moody is requesting responses to the following 3 questions as she compiles information about science standards and lab safety across the country. Please send your responses to the questions below to Dr. Moody at [email protected]

1. Does your state have science facilities standards/rules such as ones Texas recently adopted (linked here)?

OR

2. Does your state have some type of guidelines similar to the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) which has guidelines for all projects that receive state funding for construction or renovation (linked here)? Board members appointed by the state education commissioner, and the MSBA professional staff review the educational plans for all projects (other than accelerated repair) for conformity with guidelines and match them up with the district's architectural preferred alternative prior to allowing the projects to move to the schematic design stage. The schematic designs are also reviewed prior to reaching a project funding agreement with the authority.

3. Do any of your state standards include a clarification with the description of the 4 types of scientific investigations, such as was approved in Texas (see below)?

Texas adopted new science standards which will be use in the '23-'24 classrooms.  The Texas Academy of Science recommended a newer version of scientific investigations that include Descriptive, Correlative, Comparative and Experimental. See below. 

"Scientific and engineering practices. Scientific inquiry is the planned and deliberate investigation of the natural world using scientific and engineering practices. Scientific methods of investigation are descriptive, correlative, comparative, or experimental. The method chosen should be appropriate to the grade level and question being asked. Student learning for different types of investigations include descriptive investigations, which has no hypothesis that tentatively answers the research question and involves collecting data and recording observations without making comparisons; correlative or comparative investigations, which have a hypothesis that predicts a relationship involve collecting data with variables that are manipulated to compare results; and experimental investigations, which involve processes similar to comparative investigations but in which a hypothesis can be tested by comparing a treatment with a control."