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Dry ice experiment sends 19 kids to the hospital in Tennessee

Published Feb 21st, 2024 4:24PM EST
dry ice experiment
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An elementary school in Gallatin, Tennessee, has made headlines after 19 students and a teacher were sent to the hospital after a dry ice experiment. According to Nashville’s WKRN, the third-grade class was experimenting with dry ice as part of a STEM activity.

The experiment was handled under the care of a third-party speaking group, and things seemed to be going fine. However, several students soon began to complain of feeling nauseous and were sent to the school nurse. The nurse then contacted the school administrators, who then reached out to first responders.

A member of the Sumner County Emergency Medical Services (EMS), whom the school contacted, said they reached out to the sheriff’s department, fire department, and even the Gallatin Police Department for assistance, as they were worried it might turn into a Mass Casualty Incident (MCI). Luckily, everyone affected by the dry ice experiment has returned home now.

Not much information has been released just yet, but one news outlet says that the students and their teacher were treated for carbon dioxide poisoning. That makes sense, given they were messing around with dry ice, which is just frozen carbon dioxide. Fun fact: there’s also a ton of dry ice on Mars.

It also highlights the importance of always making sure any dry ice experiments are conducted in areas that are properly ventilated and that you are doing them with the proper equipment. It also seems that the parents of the children involved in the incident are unhappy with the school’s response, as some said they had not received much information at all about what happened beyond what their child told them.

Obviously, having access to these kinds of experiments early in a child’s life can be important, especially if you’re trying to instill a love for science. However, it is even more important to ensure that you aren’t putting children in danger with the experiments they take part in.

Without much more information to go on, it seems the dry ice experiment was perhaps not handled as well as it could have been. That is purely speculation, and until the school releases more information, all I can do is remind you all that playing around with experiments and not taking the necessary precautions is a sure way to end up hurt or sick. Keep learning, but make sure you stay safe while you do it.

Josh Hawkins has been writing for over a decade, covering science, gaming, and tech culture. He also is a top-rated product reviewer with experience in extensively researched product comparisons, headphones, and gaming devices.

Whenever he isn’t busy writing about tech or gadgets, he can usually be found enjoying a new world in a video game, or tinkering with something on his computer.