From: Debbie M. Decker <dmdecker**At_Symbol_Here**UCDAVIS.EDU>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Teacher Makes Chemistry Fun With Exploding Experiments
Date: Wed, 18 Oct 2017 19:16:58 +0000
Reply-To: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**PRINCETON.EDU>
Message-ID: DM3PR08MB1932CDD694304C5E1480684BC84D0**At_Symbol_Here**
In-Reply-To <41e8779805344d388bce52a83e9343f5**At_Symbol_Here**>

Hi All:


These demos are what we typically do for school groups and for our annual campus open house – Picnic Day.  Keeping a good distance between the audience and the performer (yes, Monona – we call them “performers”), engineering as much risk out of the demo as possible, talking through the hazards with those performing the demo, good oversight and training, etc. and I’m comfortable with how the demos are presented.


That said – the video did make me cringe because the person performing the demos is really annoying.  And _really_ cavalier about what she’s doing.  They may have just snipped out the “juicy bits” for the news piece but the message seems pretty laissez faire from the performer.


To Harry’s point about tenure and promotion based (in part) on student evaluations:  maybe gee-whizzy demos engage students and translate to good evaluations.  But that’s the point, isn’t it?  Good teaching engages the student in learning.  I have a professor who uses a lot of demos in his teaching but he’s also an excellent instructor!  He gets stellar evaluations (and has a waiting list for his lectures) because he engages students, beyond the demos he uses to illustrate the pedagogical point.  To those instructors who get crappy evaluations – up your game!  Sheesh!   Figure out how to deliver the curriculum outside of the Oxford model of instruction – from the 1800’s!  Unfortunately, R-1 institutions (mine, included) don’t always value good teaching or support instructors to employ well-researched, modern teaching techniques to engage students.


<soapbox off>




Debbie M. Decker, CCHO, ACS Fellow

Past Chair, Division of Chemical Health and Safety

University of California, Davis





Birkett's hypothesis: "Any chemical reaction

that proceeds smoothly under normal conditions,

can proceed violently in the presence of an idiot."




From: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety [mailto:DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**PRINCETON.EDU] On Behalf Of Jarral Ryter
Sent: Wednesday, October 18, 2017 6:06 AM
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Teacher Makes Chemistry Fun With Exploding Experiments


Curious if we all could point out what is wrong specifically. As a learning excercise. I'm thinking if you know what you are doing they all are safe. The kids could have more ppe working with alginate that you can eat?

The methanol or possibly ethanol jug doesn't have excess liquid and isnt being poured on a flame near students for example. Which is the hazard.

 Liquid n2 in hot water... it has some hazards but very little. And it was not near the kids.

H2 balloon is farther from kids than it looks.  And it seems to be just h2 as it didn't explode like it had o2 in it.  

Starch in the mouth is well.... i need to brush my teeth....

Dancing without goggles? Dry ice in water?

Too much fun?

Sorry for any snark but really curious. 

Jarral Ryter 



Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone



-------- Original message --------

From: "Czerwinski, Kevin" <kczerwin**At_Symbol_Here**UWSP.EDU>

Date: 10/18/17 5:52 AM (GMT-07:00)


Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Teacher Makes Chemistry Fun With Exploding Experiments


Made me cringe when I saw it.

Dr. Kevin M. Czerwinski, Ph.D.
Department of Chemistry

University Chemical Hygiene Officer
Environmental Health and Safety

B150 Science Building
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
2001 Fourth Avenue
Stevens Point, WI 54481

715-346-4154 (Office)
715-340-2216 (Mobile)

On Oct 18, 2017, at 6:36 AM, NEAL LANGERMAN <neal**At_Symbol_Here**CHEMICAL-SAFETY.COM<mailto:neal**At_Symbol_Here**CHEMICAL-SAFETY.COM>> wrote:

I saw it last night and thought that ACS (Marta) might send her the guidelines on demonstrations. I can think of all kinds of ugly scenarios.
Stay safe out there.

On Tue, Oct 17, 2017, 18:07 Richard Rosera <richardrosera**At_Symbol_Here**<mailto:richardrosera**At_Symbol_Here**>> wrote:
This was apparently featured this evening on NBC News:

Using explosive experiments and her magnetic personality, Dr. Kate Biberdorf is inspiring thousands of children across Texas to see the exciting side of chemistry.<>

Richard Rosera, BS ChE, MS ChE, MBA
Rosearray EHS Services LLC
101 Beryl Street<>
Los Alamos, NM<> 87547-3410
Cell:  908-279-4463


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