Policy changes after Maple Grove students burned in science class

11:37 PM, Dec 2, 2011   |    comments
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Photo of Dane Neuberger, student injured in science experience
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  • 4 students burned in science experiment at west metro school
  • MAPLE GROVE, Minn. - Osseo School District officials have changed, at least temporarily, their policy on some science experiments after one student suffered severe burns to his face Thursday.

    Four students were injured after an explosion during a science demonstration at Maple Grove Middle School.

    "It's better today at least I can recognize myself," said Dane Neuberger.

    The 15-year old is recovering at the Hennepin County Medical Center after a routine demonstration in his 9th grade science glass turned into anything but.

    His teacher, Matthew Achor, dropped a match into a jug of methanol. The flames were supposed to stay contained inside, but instead spewed out hitting Neuberger in the face.

    "I was right in the front row and I guess that fire must have just shot right at me," he said.

    Achor immediately threw a fire blanket on Neuberger, who suffered second degree burns to his face. Three other students suffered minor injuries.

    The Osseo School District would not comment on camera Friday, but a spokesperson says they have suspended methanol demonstrations for the time being.

    That's good news to Neuberger who says he didn't feel safe during the demonstration.

    "He had propane going out of a nozzle, there was methanol, there were boxes of matches, the whole thing didn't seem too great," he said.

    While Neuberger is expected to make a full recovery, his parents want changes made at the school to make sure something like this doesn't happen again.

    "It seems like a dangerous mix with the chemicals and the fire and things like that and the kids in such close proximity with the experiment," said Gus Neuberger.

    According to state law, students are supposed to wear eye protection during demonstrations like this, but it doesn't appear the students were wearing safety goggles.

    KARE 11 reached out to the science teacher Friday, but he did not want to comment. However, one parent describes him as a 'terrific teacher.'

    (Copyright 2011 by KARE 11. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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