I thought we needed to do a better job of making eye protection cool/fun, so first, we ordered them some safety glasses like “real scientists” wear (for general use) in lab. I bought three varieties of glasses from my favorite safety company. Each pair was only about $2—well worth the investment.
At the next club meeting, we let the students choose what model and color they wanted. (To my surprise, the boys all wanted red frames while the girls opted for the black or clear frames.) Finally, in order to let the kids establish a personal connection to their PPE, we brought some knickknacks to let them personalize their glasses. These included rolls of colored tape and packets of jewel stickers that the kids could use to “bling out” their frames. This model had particularly wide frames that gave the kids a bunch of space to decorate.I think this is a really interesting idea with a potential application to training actual young scientists (i.e. summer interns or 1st year graduate students). Most university chemistry stockrooms will only have a few models of different kinds of laboratory glasses. Concerns about fit or comfort (or different shapes of faces) aren't really ever taken into consideration. Why couldn't young scientists get a fitting (or better yet) customization for their own faces for their lab glasses? (They could even maybe build prototypes and get them sent off for actual manufacture.)
That would be a great way for them to take ownership of lab glasses. You could imagine addressing the same problem with regards to lab coats (the small lab coat problem, for example.) Also, you could imagine getting federal dollars (which are already going to purchase PPE that sits on cabinets, etc.) for such a training program.
Better yet, if they had to pick lab glasses/lab coats and approach a variety of artificial-but-potentially-real safety problems (simulated acetone sprays, the shot of benzyl bromide I once took to the face, spilled 500 mL graduated cylinder to the chest etc.), it might get young scientists to see their PPE as their friend and protector, not some imposed burden. Readers, thoughts?