Recent Science work in Year 9 at Lansdowne School has had a seasonal theme with the students learning all about the chemistry involved to manufacture fireworks. It fits in perfectly with the current class learning topic of atoms and elements.
This work has been approached with safety being the main concern. Miss McNie wanted the pupils to understand what causes a chemical reaction in fireworks, and how we can enjoy them in a safe, responsible manner.
The students have been looking in detail about the energy changes that take place once a firework has been set alight. We have seen how the main change involves the fuel reacting with the oxygen to create a burning reaction. It was explained that fireworks are incredibly powerful as they contain their own added oxygen supply.
Practical models of fireworks were then built using lego. Different coloured bricks represented the elements and how they then mix with one another.
Year 9 then designed and created their own paper firework display. Key to this work was the scientific facts that were attached to each rocket.
Finally any learning about fireworks needs to have an element of practical, safe fun. Miss McNie treated the students to a small fireworks display so that we could observe some of the chemical reactions that we have been learning about.