As a former science teacher, this sounds about right. Most of the activities students do in class follow the very basic, structured Scientific Method. You know: Observation, Hypothesis, Experiment, Data Collection, and Conclusion. Classroom labs generally involve an experiment that has been done millions of times and the procedure carefully typed into a word document. Typically, the idea is to emphasize the main point of a lecture like finding the density of an irregularly shaped object. These "Science Experiments" come sterilized and prepackaged. No really, you can buy a lab in a box that comes with everything you need including the student worksheets and answer keys.
Rarely, do students get to actually participate in science. Probably because it is messy, complicated, and can't be finished in a 90-minute period. State curriculums and tests drive the science classroom to prevent the exploration of good science for students.