Student Labor Positions

Student Labor Positions

The chemistry labor positions are essential to the education program in our department. We normally hire nine students on 10-hour primary contracts (with a maximum academic year workload of 176 or 192 hours), six students on 15-hour primary contracts (with a maximum academic year workload of 240 hours), and another five for secondary 0-5 hour contracts (with a maximum academic year workload of 88 hours). Each year we select one worker as our student manager who helps coordinate duties and generally organize the other workers. Required duties include doing chemical preparation for the various general, organic, and analytical laboratories. Grading homework, quizzes, and laboratory notebooks for these same classes. Our teaching assistants also are instrumental in our tutoring program that runs on Sunday afternoon from 3-5 p.m. and Monday-Thursday evenings from 7-9 p.m.

Chemistry Laboratory Checklist

Before students arrive in the laboratory the following tasks shall be completed

  • As students enter the classroom for pre-laboratory lecture, the teaching assistantswill check each notebook for a completed pre-laboratory write-up.  This should include the title, purpose, procedure and other reagent tables.
  • Any chemicals left out from a prior laboratory session (on the balances or in the hoods) should be put away or disposed of appropriately.
  • Laboratory drawers for shall be unlocked (making sure all other sections are locked).
  • Trash cans shall be emptied in the laboratory if more than half full.
  • Eye wash station shall be tested to remove impurities from the line.
  • Waste bottle shall be prepared with appropriate labels before students enter the laboratory.
  • Wash bottles shall be filled with water, acetone, and other appropriate solvents.
  • Chemicals for the days experiment shall be placed in the appropriate locations.
  • Check to be sure there is at least one box of each size gloves on hand in the lab.
  • Check to see appropriate size filter paper is available if students will be using any during the laboratory session.

During laboratory session

  • Teaching assistants are expected to move around the classroom and interact withstudents.
  • If glassware is broken, you shall replace it for the student.
  • As teaching assistants move around the laboratory, they shall be aware of looking for safety violations and help students fix these problems (goggles, aprons, gloves, inappropriate clothing, etc.)

At the conclusion of laboratory, the following tasks shall be completed

  • Waste containers will be kept in the laboratory for another section or another week if appropriate or they shall be taken to the waste disposal cabinet.
  • Unused chemicals will be kept in the laboratory for another section or another week if appropriate or they shall be taken to the stockroom if they are useful in the future or disposed of if they are not.
  • Consolidate chemicals. As example, there is no reason to keep 67 mL of a 1000 mL bottle of 0.15M HCl.  In most cases student prepared solutions are not useful beyond an academic year and should not be retained.
  • Empty trash cans if they have been filled in the laboratory session.
  • Make sure all of the hoods have been cleaned and any common equipment is returned to correct storage areas.
  • Unplug all heaters, vacuum pumps and/or stir plates.