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The Science of a Firework

30 October 2019


Do you know how fireworks get their colour? Or that sparkle? Caldicott boys in Year 7 found out in their Science lesson this morning.

The colours in fireworks are created by the use of metal salts such as Lithium (red), Copper (green), Sodium (orange) and Potassium (purple). These chemical are packed into a firework as pea sized pellets called ‘stars’. After a firework is ignited, a lift charge propels it into the sky. At the same time, a time-delay fuse burns slowly inside the firework which then ignites the stars to produce the colours and a spectacular display.

During their lesson, the boys saw what happens when these chemicals are ignited through a series of flame tests. To test their knowledge of chemistry, they needed to guess what the chemical was from the colour they saw when they held a splint, soaked in a solution, above a bunsen burner. To the delight of the boys, they then headed outside to watch some fireworks and guess the chemicals in them.

Caldicott is always trying to expand the boys' minds when it comes to learning about things that happen every day. With the build-up to Bonfire Night, understanding that it is science that drives the 'Oooohs' and 'Aaaahs' from the crowd, practical learning is the perfect way to do it.


Caldicott Year 7 learn about the science behind the firework