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First Day of Chemistry Lab – Notes for TAs

NOTE that CHEM lab classes generally begin on MONDAYS, although other classes may begin a few days earlier. Check the current SCHEDULE OF CLASSES. A copy of this page will be provided to you on Day 1.

  1. Locker sheetshold the locker check-in (inventory) papers until these First Day items are finished.
  2. Take attendance and make other introductory remarks.  Class rosters will be collected from your lab after the first 30 minutes of class. For ease and consistency: 
    • mark () students who are present
    • leaving no-shows unmarked.
      Announce that attendance will be taken again at the end of the meeting.
      Do not admit anyone who is not on your roster; send them to the Stockroom (YH 3150 or NSB 1104) for assistance.
  3. Read this announcement to your class:
    ADDITIONAL ASSISTANCE IN LAB:  If you have any special needs or conditions with which you would like to receive assistance in lab, please contact Sheila Kennedy with information about your needs and your contact information. Examples might include
    pregnancy; impaired vision or hearing; limited mobility; orany other condition that might need accommodation to work in lab. If you're not sure whether we can help, just ask & we'll get back to you as soon as possible.
  4. Safety equipment: 
    • Show your students what’s available (see list below)
    • Teach them what each is for – do not assume they know this!
    • Teach and demonstrate the minimum necessary level of personal protection required in labs:  eye protection, closed shoes and long (knee-length) lab coat. Students who are prepared may begin working today. Others must leave after checking in their lockers.
  5. Follow Check-In Instructions to assign & inventory lockers.
  6. Before students start leaving:  WALK WITH YOUR STUDENTS to your emergency evacuation location, as if responding to a fire alarm and take attendance. For CHEM 7L, 100A & 143A/AM, remind them that this evacuation location is on the safety exam.
In York Hall: go to the area of the fountain in Revelle Plaza (west of York Hall).
In Natural Sciences Building (NSB): go to the area between NSB and Pacific Hall.


Locate the posted Laboratory Rules and the safety equipment stocked in the lab. Please remind your students that these items will be on the safety exam.  Please be sure to include:

  • Chemical hoods with sliding sashes,
  • Emergency shower/eyewash,
  • First aid kit (for small cuts),
  • Fire extinguishers:  note locations and types: ABC vs. CO2,
  • Spill cleanup kit (for small spills)
  • Nearest telephone: may be in lab, in an adjoining lab or in your instrument room; some labs have none – check with your Lab Assistant if you don't see one.


Remind your students that you will not allow them to work in lab if they come unprepared (either in dress or in lab preparation).

  • In CHEM 7L/LM and 143A/AM, chemical splash goggles are required for everyone in the lab. In other lab classes, TA will guide the student's choice about whether safety glasses are sufficient or goggles are needed (for splash hazard). Goggles are always correct, and may be needed, so student (and TA) should always have them at hand. Goggles and glasses are available in the University Bookstore. Contact lenses and prescription eyewear are worn with (never in place of) safety eyewear.
  • Long Pants (or equivalent) and knee-length lab coats are required for everyone (TAs, students, faculty, staff and visitors) in the lab. The University Bookstore is well supplied and will order special sizes for those who need them. Coats are worn closed to protect skin and clothing; check that they cover skin & sleeves.
  • Shoes must be closed (front and back); they should provide solid support and protect the foot from splash and broken glass. Ballet flats do not qualify. Some Instructors require shoes to be waterproof.


Send any visitors to the Stockroom to check in and receive safety equipment before allowing them into your lab.