Explosive Science

Explosive Science

What do a pink water pistol, a ‘carrot gun’ and a pile of gunpowder all have in common? They all help to explain how a firework works, of course!

On the afternoon of Thursday 2 November, the Science department hosted a group of around 160 Year 7 pupils from Broadwater School to learn about the ‘Science of Fireworks’ in the Lecture Theatre at School.

During their visit, pupils were able to observe how the rate of a combustion can be altered by changing the properties and physical state of the fuel. Oxidising agents were then added into the mix as a means of significantly increasing the intensity of a combustion reaction when it was discovered that the brilliant blue liquid oxygen that was made wasn’t quite so convenient.

A carrot gun and a stomp rocket were then used to show how forces are required to get the rocket off the ground. This was certainly improved upon through the use of ‘gun-cotton’, a nitrocellulose soaked pile of cotton wool.

To wrap up the talk, three hydrogen balloons were exploded, each of which contained a different metal ion giving each a characteristic colour, ranging from orange to a vivid green. 

Link to Local School Partnerships

We are one of many schools in the Godalming area, and are delighted to be a partner of Broadwater School, our nearest secondary neighbour.