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Respecting Chemicals

Respecting Chemicals
Mr. James Fredenburg created a fireball during his limiting reagent stoichiometry lesson.

Mr. James Fredenburg created a fireball during his limiting reagent stoichiometry lesson.

Mr. James Fredenburg, the high school science teacher, demonstrated the power of chemicals during a limiting reagent lesson as part of the stoichiometry unit, which is heavily math-based. He demonstrated the reaction between acetylene and oxygen three times. Twice with one of the reactants limiting the chemical reaction, and another time in the correct stoichiometry ratio. The results of this demonstration ranged from no reaction, huge fireballs, and a loud bang – similar to a gun firing. Chemistry is about understanding what happens at the microscopic level to explain what we see in our daily lives. Through these types of demonstrations in a safe and controlled environment, students have seen the class and book work translate to everyday life!

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