From: Teresa Arnold <tarnold**At_Symbol_Here**GEORGEFOX.EDU>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Grade school demonstration stupidity
Date: Tue, 22 Apr 2014 10:20:05 -0700
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: CAGvfNZRrJ9Jj-Oo1oPMqFNri7AEQ_aKjtNC_VfCexGMhjZaP+Q**At_Symbol_Here**
In-Reply-To <05A859BD-9AE2-487D-8272-CB2F8B1E7171**At_Symbol_Here**>

I emailed Byram Hills to express my concern and one of their folks called me today. They are very concerned with safety and and want to make improvements. It was nice that they were in no way making excuses. They honestly want help with making things better. They are looking for suggestions for training programs in the area, so if you have suggestions, let me know and I will pass them on. They are in NY.

Apparently, they were doing the "Methane Mamba" from this Flinn demo video:

Note that the demonstrator DOES light it off in his hand.

Thoughts? Examples of where this went wrong in the past that I can cite for Byram Hills?


On Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 11:35 AM, ILPI Support <info**At_Symbol_Here**> wrote:
Came across this today:

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!

Rob Toreki
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