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Homemade rocket fuel--too successful!

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Published on Mar 13, 2010

For my students. Note the safety equipment. Can you guess the chemicals involved? Another good example of the usefulness of risk management ("If this does something unexpected, what's my safety margin?")

Oops, forgot to clarify for the YouTube audience--there were no students in the room. I NEVER try a demo the first time in front of a class. Especially if it involves any sort of pyrotechnics. Took me 7 years to work up the nerve just to try a bit of sodium metal in water myself, with no students around. I don't know of a more conservative chemistry teacher than myself. That's because in my years of watching and listening to other teachers, I have a very healthy respect for things going differently than you might expect. Makes for a great safety lecture ("Then there's the time I got lit on fire... Oh, yeah, and another time when the student took off their goggles at their desk because they were done with the lab and some chemical from another lab group squirted over two desks to hit them in the eye... And then, one time when my colleague was doing methane bubbles...").

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