Came across this today: http://www.byramhills.org/news.cfm?story=375
Yes, that is a high school teacher doing a science outreach demo in which a fifth grader is holding flames in his hand.
The sound you hear is me banging my head on the table repeatedly.
My best guess is that it's the "methane mamba" demonstration which you can find on YouTube. Which, I suppose, if done carefully and away from all flammables could be relatively low-risk, but to have a FIFTH GRADER hold it while it is lit not only presents a serious safety issue, but a far greater one - teaching elementary school kids that you can safely play with fire in your hands. In my personal opinion, this is professionally derelict. I hate demos like this because I fear/know that some student will try to recreate it using household materials like alcohol or gasoline.
Of course, most all of us thought at one time the methanol rainbow and similar demonstrations were relative low risk - and the accidents we've discussed involving those were performed by the *instructor*. Here we have the *students* (5th grade as well as "AP chem students") directly involved.
Also note the picture of fifth graders using sodium hydroxide with no gloves.
We have to find a way to stop this kind of stupidity. Maybe we need a web site called "Demonstrations That Are So Incredibly Stupid We Will Gladly Testify Against You In Court When Your Student Is Injured"
I saved a PDF of the page as I suspect it might disappear after some of our more avid list readers see it!
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