Thursday, February 17, 2005

Chemistry Explosions

Question: What purpose does making bombs serve in chemistry class?
Answer: It shows the principle of rapid reaction rates and it keeps the kids interested (and it can get you suspended!)

I saw a blurb this morning on a Fox News crawl about a chemistry teacher who was arrested for detailing bomb making in class. My first reaction was, "Of course, chemistry teachers must include a section on reaction rates in the course. It's part of chemistry!" Thus was born the eternal "duck" question above.

But then I read the full story. Apparently, the teacher had a can of black powder on school grounds, he had been cautioned about this type of incident before, and one of his students showed him a video of the students own bomb experiments. Ouch!

Now, I have had my own "youthful" experiences with explosions (mostly Molotov cocktails and tennis ball cannons) so I won't be too critical but it does seem like there MAY be more to the situation than can be communicated in a quick news story (much less a blurb on a crawl!) I think I will let the school board handle this one.