Date: Wed, 19 Jul 2006 15:20:41 -0400
Reply-To: Ralph Stuart <rstuart**At_Symbol_Here**>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: Ralph Stuart <rstuart**At_Symbol_Here**>
Subject: High school chemistry project was a blast

 From the latest issue of Chemical and Engineering News Newscripts  
(p. 104).

I wonder if the bomb squad took advantage the learning opportunity to  
let the student see the explosion?

- Ralph

High school chemistry project was a blast
According to a report in the Detroit News last month, a 17-year-old  
high school junior in Walled Lake, Mich., found a recipe for making  
trinitrotoluene (TNT) on the Internet and decided to try it out for  
the final experiment in his advanced placement chemistry course. He  
planned to test his product by blowing up a watermelon for his  
classmates on the school's football field.

The student used chemicals from the school stockroom and had  
responsibly informed his parents and teacher about his TNT project,  
which apparently was progressing just fine. But precaution took over,  
and the teacher and school officials alerted the sheriff's office. It  
wasn't long before the state police bomb squad was on the scene,  
removing three beakers containing what was described as a brown-black  
paste. Police aren't sure if the material was TNT or not, but they  
reported its detonation made a "sizable explosion."

It's still unclear if any legal charges or other sanctions will be  
brought against the youth or the teacher, but it seems today's  
sanitized school environment can still be exciting.

Ralph Stuart, CIH
Secretary, ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety
Environmental Safety Facility
667 Spear St. Burlington, VT  05405


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