Chemistry of Fireworks

Fireworks in the sky


The colorful and impressive fireworks displays seen during New Year’s Eve, Fourth of July, and other events pack a lot of chemistry into those “Ooooo! Aah!” moments. Learn more about the history, construction, shapes, and colors of fireworks. 

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  • History of Fireworks
    Whom do we have to thank for discovering fireworks? What did they use them for?
  • Shaving Cream Fireworks Prints
    Have you used shaving cream paper marbling when you discuss hydrophobic/hydrophilic materials? Try these firework-like patterns.
  • Alka-Seltzer Fireworks
    Use a fizzing reaction to create explosive art.
  • How To Make Black Snakes or Glow Worms
    Glow little glowworm, glow. Make your own fireworks with ingredients around the house.
  • Design Your Own Fireworks Show
    Put together a team to create a 3-minute simulated show. Can you make it spectacular (yet safe) and still come in under budget?

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  • Learn About... Fireworks!
    Chemistry can be a blast as you get the scoop on which compounds give you which color, how to stay safe, and more.
  • How Fireworks Work
    Check out what goes into a firework, long before you see its explosive glow in the sky.
  • Kaboom!
    Fire up your learning as you dissect the anatomy of a firework and its chemistry.
  • I Didn't Know That: Fireworks
    Get up close and personal with the inner workings of a firework as you go behind the scenes at a fireworks company.

(all sites accessed November 2017)