One of the great benefits of the proliferation of cameras on phones and devices is that so many wonderful events of every day life are not captured and uploaded to the internet.
Here’s a great one from a high school chemistry class.
Now I’m all for hands-on learning, because it shows how science can be fun and helps demonstrate basic principles. I’m not sure exactly what they are demonstrating here, but I’m guessing that it’s the fact that methane gas, the primary component of natural gas is both lighter than air and flammable.
What could possibly go wrong? My first concern would be that they could inadvertently set fire to the ceiling. Hanging ceiling tiles are supposed to be fire resistant, but that only means they will usually char slowly and self-extinguish. They can still, under the right conditions, catch fire, and there are exampled of hanging ceilings that, for whatever reason, did not seem to meet the standards for fire resistance. Hence, given the low elevation of the ceiling and the potential to start a fire, I would not consider this an entirely safe demonstration.
Thankfully, that did not happen. However, something even funnier did…
I have no idea whether the teacher kept his job. My guess would be that he did, since teachers unions tend to be quite protective and he didn’t seem to have done anything overtly indefensible. (like an inappropriate relationship with a student or stealing from the school) But regardless, it’s pretty certain that he had some real egg on his face after this, and that by the time they got to the valve to shut down the sprinklers, there was a pretty huge mess to clean up and some substantial water damage.
One should remember that as far as chemistry demonstration mishaps go, many have gone far worse than this one!
This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 21st, 2013 at 6:54 pm and is filed under Bad Science, Education, Humor, media, Misc. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
View blog reactions