Dramatic Chemical Experiments

Geek Culture

For many reasons chemical experiments aren’t as popular as they once were. That’s a shame because chemistry is one of the geekiest things a Geekdad can do. Chem experiments require only a small amount of gear, not much time, can be very dramatic, and very educational. Their downsides are obvious — the chemicals can be hard to obtain and store, and most will require adult supervision. There are lots of books with formulas for experiments, but I’ve found it’s incredibly helpful to SEE what an experiment should look like before you begin. For instance it is important to watch a thermite reaction before you actually attempt to ignite it, because it is truly generates intense heat (white hot glowing iron). It’s sort of like seeing a culinary dish before you try to make it. One of the best sites for chemical experiment videos is hosted by the Journal of Chemical Education. They offer small clips of rather exciting experiments, including many that go bang. (And many other cool ones that don’t.)

Thermite ReactionThermite Reaction

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