MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Experts say there’s little oversight of what happens in classroom laboratories, which is often overlooked until there’s an accident like the one early this month in Maple Grove.
A middle school teacher there was demonstrating the volatility of methanol by igniting the vapors in a plastic bottle. Four students were burned when something went wrong and the fire got out of control.
Ken Roy is the lab safety expert with the National Science Teachers Association. He says most lab accidents can be prevented with basic safety equipment and training, but many school districts don’t provide it.
He didn’t have firsthand knowledge of the Maple Grove accident, but he says methanol is too unpredictable for classroom use.
An Osseo schools spokeswoman says the accident is under investigation.
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