No, this blog does not really start with an oxymoron--a scientist can be gleefully nuts. Anyway, I got to be one today, or at least pretend that I was one. My physical science class was learning about the atmosphere, and all the gases of which it is composed. So we made hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon dioxide. That's cool enough as it is, but we didn't stop there. We actually put a match to the very flammable hydrogen, stuck some burning materials into the pure, fire-feeding oxygen, and then settled down with putting a fire out with carbon dioxide.
I never cease to be thrilled with the awe and excitement on my students' faces. They want to repeat the experiments, do them with the lights out, and write down the ingredients so they can show their parents the neat effects. There is nothing more satisfying to a teacher than opening eyes and minds to our amazing world. I love finding experiments that will thrill, inspire, and create that glazed mad look in a budding scientist!