Pursuing your project safely
Good scientists and engineers always include risk assessment when they plan their research.
Students need to work with their Adult Supervisor and carefully think through the potential risks involved with using human subjects, animals, microbes, chemicals, devices or performing the activities required for the experimental procedure. All projects will need to have detailed descriptions of experiments and materials in the Research Plan.
The use of human subjects, animals, microbes, chemicals, devices and involvement in hazardous activities require direct supervision by an Designated Supervisor, except those involving DEA-controlled substances, prescription drugs, alcohol, tobacco, firearms/explosives which require supervision by a Qualified Scientist.
Student researchers must acquire and use regulated substances in accordance with all local, state, U.S. federal and country laws.
The student researcher must design experiments to minimize the impact that an experiment has on the environment, for instance using minimal quantities of chemicals that must subsequently be disposed of in an environmentally safe manner in according with good laboratory practices.
As a student, you should review your own project plans for safety before you carry out your work. Your adult sponsor should collaborate with you on the perceived risks.
There are special rules for certain types of projects. Those that use human subjects, human or animal body tissues/fluids, nonhuman vertebrate animal experiments (other than observing them in their natural surroundings), working with microbial agents or other potentially hazardous biological agents as well as working with hazardous substances, devices and activities.
Middle school students are prohibited from working with a number of project types. Be sure to consult the middle school application page 1 Boxes # 1-3 for details.