Monday, November 5, 2018

Georgia teacher sets self on fire during classroom demonstration

A Duluth High School teacher had a science demonstration go awry - check out the video below:
Gotta love this quote from the Atlanta Journal Constitution below:
Principal Eric Davidson sent a letter to parents that said in part, “This is a rare situation and we are committed to determining exactly how this occurred so it does not happen again.”
Now can we stop having teachers do hazardous demonstrations with no training and little forethought?

14 comments:

  1. Related:

    https://youtu.be/ain2by4Fums

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  2. Play List for High School Lab Demos Gone Bad

    Fools Rush In - Glenn Miller
    Smoke Gets in Your Eyes - The Platters
    Burnin' for You - Blue Oyster Cult
    Disco Inferno - The Trammps
    Hot Stuff - Donna Summer
    Up in Flames - Coldplay
    Fire - Arthur Brown
    The Heat is On - Glenn Grey
    Think it Over - Buddy Holly
    The End - The Doors


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  3. What's with all the obsession with fire??? There are so many cool chemistry demos that do not involve making fire - this is so not worth it. As a child I was quite fascinated by the color changes from simple redox reactions, or reactions that make gases (H2, CO2, nothing too crazy) - are kids nowadays just much harder to impress?!

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  4. Teachers can stop trying this when they feel they no longer must be entertainers to get through to students with no attention spans and can return to presenting factual material in an orderly fashion.

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    Replies
    1. I wonder if the problem with the demo isn't with teachers with short attention spans rather than their students. It's unlikely that catching you and your students on fire is going to inculcate a love for chemistry, and given the number of times demos with methanol and open flames have gone wrong, that is at least a minority outcome. If you want flash and bangs to excite kids, you have to think about what you're doing and how you can do it well and safely, and perhaps what you are trying to get out of it.

      There isn't going to be a shortcut to teaching kids chemistry that's going to get teachers where they want to be, unless they want to be in the hospital or on the unemployment line.

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  5. I remember a teacher (in seventh grade, I think) trying to demonstrate hydrogen generation to the class by reacting zinc granules with HCl and trying to light it with a small, smoldering wick, to no avail. When several attempts failed, I went to the front of the class, lit a match and dropped it in the hydrogen jar and it went off with a big satisfactory pop. No PPE worn by anyone. I think that it got the kids quite interested. Wish we had been made aware of safety training though.

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    Replies
    1. Safety training was not even a dream when I was in school - the alkali metal and water thing left pockmarks in the ceiling when potassium was used, and one of the teachers may have had problems from having lots of mercury in the open in various containers and aquaria.

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  6. To paraphrase our dear President, when America sends its people for teacher training, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems.

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    1. Maybe if we paid teachers more...

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    2. A friend of mine told me he hates his teaching job because he's expected to narrate a canned curriculum and not deviate from it, and he has very little freedom over how to do his own job.

      I have another friend who makes money on the side teaching SAT prep classes to high school kids, and in his case, this kind of setup works well for him. He's a skilled public speaker with no expertise in the subject matter, and he's given a canned curriculum to narrate.

      Sounds to me like the next generation of teachers will be teleprompter-readers rather than the best and brightest.

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    3. Man, that's a crap comment. Lots of if not most teachers are outstanding and dedicated. Don't be like the Donald.

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    4. My friend who hates his job is outstanding and dedicated. The problem isn't teachers; the problem is administrators who treat teachers like fast food workers.

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  7. High school teaching is a mix of canned curriculum and kids who cant pay attention for any length of time, and have discipline issues. Teachers have it tough. Paddling difficult children would be helpful, maybe some electroshock therapy for the more difficult kids.

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  8. Information and warnings have been around for years. This is boarding on criminally negligent.

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