Questions for ‘Fireworks shower the sky with science’


The displays that dazzle revelers on July 4th and many other holidays are the result of chemists and other researchers working to create and choreograph pyrotechnic theater in the night sky.

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To accompany feature “Fireworks shower the skies with explosive colors”


Before Reading:

1.    What is your understanding of how fireworks work?

2.    What makes different fireworks different colors?

During Reading

1.    Each 4th of July, about how many fireworks displays are put on within the United States?

2.    Define pyrotechnics.

3.    What’s the estimated combined weight of all fireworks set off in the United States each year?

4.    Where did fireworks first evolve and what may have inspired people got to make them?

5.    What is the role of an “oxidizer” in fireworks?

6.    Describe the role of metals and electrons in making the colors in a fireworks display.

7.    As of the time this story was written, what was the size of the world’s record firework?

8.    How are some fireworks companies looking to make their displays “greener”?

9.    What is the role of choreography in fireworks displays and how do pyrotechnic companies use it to amp up enthusiasm in crowds?

10.  What is the role of perchlorates in fireworks displays and why might some companies want to find alternatives for them?

After Reading

1.    Exploding fireworks are beautiful but have environmental costs. Do you think those costs outweigh the value of those displays? Explain your reasoning.

2.    If you were going to find a career in the fireworks industry, what aspect of it would you like to become part of? Explain what type of training you think you would need and where you might get it.