More than 30 chemistry student teaching assistants (TAs) received a hands-on fire extinguishing experience from the St. Louis Fire Department and SLU's emergency preparedness team.
The four-day TA training event was organized by chemistry faculty and lab coordinators Christy Bagwill (M.S.R.), Daria Sokic-Lazic (M.S.R) and Jennifer Monahan (Ph.D.).
|Chemistry department teaching assistants get some tips on fire extinguisher safety.|
The St. Louis Fire Department and SLU's emergency preparedness coordinator, Connie Tillman, teamed up to make the fire extinguisher experience possible. The session included information about fire safety and how to properly operate and aim an extinguisher.
SLU's chemistry department teaching assistants participate in the annual training event as preparation for the upcoming academic year. This fall, more than 30 graduate and undergraduate laboratory assistants participated in sessions focused on chemistry procedures, teaching techniques, laboratory safety, and emergency protocols. The goal of the training is to ensure that the laboratory assistants perform their duties at the highest level possible.
Enrollment in SLU chemistry classes has increased in recent years and Dr. Monahan feels that the four-day training session is a crucial component of successful laboratory courses.
"The chemistry department strives to provide our assistants with the necessary tools to serve as quality mentors and educators, while continually enforcing safe practices in the laboratory environment," Monahan said.
Lab coordinator Christy Bagwill said that when teaching in a laboratory setting, it is important to remember that safety is first but accidents can happen.
"During training, we place our teaching assistants in emergency scenario," Bagwill said. "As a team they work to efficiently and professionally respond to each situation. The goal is to give our TAs the tools to respond properly in high stress situations."
Over 1,300 SLU students enroll in chemistry labs annually. This year the chemistry department plans to offer 11 different laboratory courses which include more than 100 individual lab sections. Students enrolled in these courses range from freshman to seniors and include majors from the sciences, liberal arts, nursing and health sciences, and pre-professional health studies. The chemistry coordinators have designed a four-day training module for their teaching, preparatory and grading assistants to prepare them for teaching during the 2011-2012 academic year.