Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Surprise Fire

One of the cooler things we get to study in fifth grade is matter, which includes physical and chemical changes.

We do some pretty exciting experiments, like blowing up (as in getting bigger, not exploding) a bar of ivory soap in the microwave, making polyurethane insulation, and creating a concoction that starts with white powder and red liquid, then ends with a very hot, bright orange mess. Cool stuff.

We also have one experiment called "surprise fire". It starts with a small hill of a grayish powder (potassium permanganate) to which we add only a few drops of glycerin. After a few quiet moments, it bursts into flames for about three seconds. Way cool.

My class is already done with this unit this year, without event, but I have been helping the new fifth grade teacher as he is teaching it to his class now. He came into my room during prep today so I could show him how to do the surprise fire experiment before he demonstrated it to his class. Well, it worked. And it set off the fire alarm.

The entire school evacuated

all 700 of them

in the snow
without coats

And it was my fault. I was fine at the time, but now, one short hour later, I'm feeling rather embarrassed...

I found out today that I have been
nominated by an anonymous fellow teacher for
the Teacher of the Year award.

Think they'll change their minds?


Michelle said...

That is really funny! And I don't think they will change their minds about the teacher of the year are too great to give it to someone else!

Jared and Delia said...

Ha ha. I'll bet they won't change their minds.