From: DAVID Katz <DAKATZ45**At_Symbol_Here**MSN.COM>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Demonstrations
Date: Mon, 15 Jun 2020 17:21:32 +0000
Reply-To: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**Princeton.EDU>
Message-ID: BYAPR05MB6696FD8FCBA6AF21EA0F7D40C59C0**At_Symbol_Here**
In-Reply-To <001201d6424f$248fecf0$6dafc6d0$.ref**At_Symbol_Here**>

I agree that both demos and videos should be used in education.  With over 50 years of demonstration experience in many different venues and in over 30 different countries, I have maintained a safety record where no one has ever been injured and no facilities were damaged other than broken glassware.  That doesn't mean things don't go wrong, but when they do, everything is under control and everyone is safe.
While there were programs that taught chemical demonstrations in the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s, they were all discontinued for lack of funding. Today, there are too many "wow" demonstrations on YouTube videos and TV shows and, in my opinion, too many untrained individuals who are trying to reproduce them.  A good demonstration should have educational value and not be another exhibition of fire, smoke and explosions.  The demonstrator must know what he/she is working with, the proper PPE, the proper size for the demo, and the proper venue for that demo.  I have stated that I can teach more by burning almost pure hydrogen in a test tube than by exploding a hydrogen filled balloon.
This year, I updated my web site to include some information on Safety With Chemical Demonstrations.  I know that there will be individuals who may not agree with everything on that page, but it is my personal and professional  opinion.
  David A. Katz             
  Chemist, Educator, Expert Demonstrator, Science Communicator, and  Consultant
  Programs and workshops for teachers, schools, museums, and the public
  5003 Canby Dr. * Wilmington, DE 19808-1102 *  USA
  voice/fax: (302) 509-3282 * email: dakatz45**At_Symbol_Here**
           Visit my web site:
----- Original Message -----
From: Yaritza Brinker
To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**Princeton.EDU
Sent: Monday, June 15, 2020 10:39 AM
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Demonstrations

Let me tell you a bit about myself, and why I think videos and demos should both be used in education.


I attended a very small rural high school in PR (class of =9196). The science budget was non-existent and the school didn't have any labs. The biology dissection was a single frog the teacher pre-dissected and presented for us to look at. The physics experiment was the egg-drop. The chemistry experiment was Elmer's glue and borax. Yes, 3 experiments/demos in 4 years of high school.


The first time I ever stepped into a lab, I was attending a month long summer camp at UPR Rio Piedras. The university recognized the disparity between low-income and high-income schools. The camp was intended to help incoming freshmen get up to speed by providing the lab experience we were not afforded in high school.


Not all school districts have the funds to do labs. Thus, videos do have a place in modern education. We do need well produced modern videos to replace the un-safe old ones and you-tube. We also do need low cost experiments/demos and demo training for teachers.  If we don't strike a balance between experiments, demos and videos, eventually high schools will do away with labs all together in the name of increased safety and reduced liability. Our students won't have anything but videos.


I started college thinking of going into genetics or medicine. It wasn't until after I got the chance to step in a lab that I truly considered chemistry as a career. Demos may not be the reason we go into science nor the reason we stay in it, but the lab experience just might be it.



Yaritza Brinker



From: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**Princeton.EDU> On Behalf Of Richard Palluzi
Sent: Sunday, June 14, 2020 9:25 AM
To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**Princeton.EDU
Subject: [DCHAS-L] Demonstrations


** External Email **

I would encourage the membership to read Chapter 12 of NFPA 45 Fire Protection for Laboratories Using Chemicals in its entirety before doing any demonstrations. The number of accidents this has caused led the committee to add significant restrictions and responsibilities.


On a personal opinion note, it is 2020 and why can't you show a video instead of creating a needless hazard. While I am sure we all have vivid memories of these type demonstrations, particularly the less well planned and executed ones, how many of us can truly say this is what made us decide to go into  science? I suspect few if any. These things, particularly the larger and more spectacular scale ones, are just not worth the risk. With all due respect to Michael Faraday and all the other greats who came before us, times have changed and I don't see anyone suggesting that we should all throw out hot plates and ovens for Bunsen burners or get ride of our cars for horse drawn carriages. I think it is time to rethink the need for hazardous demonstrations and consider if new technologies can't allow us to do something a lot safer.


Richard Palluzi



Pilot plant and laboratory consulting, safety, design,reviews, and training


Richard P Palluzi LLC

72 Summit Drive

Basking Ridge, NJ 07920




--- For more information about the DCHAS-L e-mail list, contact the Divisional membership chair at membership**At_Symbol_Here** Follow us on Twitter **At_Symbol_Here**acsdchas

Electronic Transmission Confidentiality Notice

The information contained in this electronic transmission is private, confidential, the property of the sender, and intended for the use of the recipient(s), only. If you are not the addressee, any disclosure, copying, distribution or use of this information for any purpose is strictly prohibited. If you have received this information in error, please notify the sender, YBrinker**At_Symbol_Here**, immediately by e-mail and then delete this message. Thank you.

--- For more information about the DCHAS-L e-mail list, contact the Divisional membership chair at membership**At_Symbol_Here** Follow us on Twitter **At_Symbol_Here**acsdchas

Previous post   |  Top of Page   |   Next post

The content of this page reflects the personal opinion(s) of the author(s) only, not the American Chemical Society, ILPI, Safety Emporium, or any other party. Use of any information on this page is at the reader's own risk. Unauthorized reproduction of these materials is prohibited. Send questions/comments about the archive to
The maintenance and hosting of the DCHAS-L archive is provided through the generous support of Safety Emporium.