These photos were taken at our city’s riverfront last night. It was our family’s second year to attend their annual event. A few of the families in our neighborhood have been celebrating Independence Day all week and we have seen some beautiful fireworks and heard some BOOMS. Z has been excited and J has tried to be tolerant. They have had some questions. My answer is the same for each of them, “Let’s google it”. Our search resulted in our homeschooling summer school lesson of the day and covers the subjects of history, science, and because we use the internet, computer lab gets a “check”. We have a community service project also. (There is quite a bit of firework trash to be picked up in the neighborhood yards and street.)
Below are J’s and Z’s questions and the links to the answers.
“Where do fireworks come from?” “The birthplace of fireworks is generally recognized as China, with the first explosive mixture found being black powder, during the Sung dynasty (960-1279)” For the rest, click this link to the brief article, The History of Fireworks http://www.pyrouniverse.com/history.htm
“Why do we celebrate the 4th of July with fireworks?” According to Slate, that answer is , “Because John Adams wanted us to. Before the Declaration of Independence was even signed, he envisioned fireworks as a part of the festivities. In a letter to Abigail Adams on July 3, 1776, he wrote that the occasion should be commemorated “with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.” The first commemorative Independence Day fireworks were set off on July 4, 1777.” You can link here for the full article. http://www.slate.com/articles/life/explainer/2012/07/history_of_fireworks_in_america_why_do_we_celebrate_fourth_of_july_with_fireworks_.html
“What makes fireworks explode in different colors?” According to a post from the Interactive Technology Experience Center’s Facebook page, “Sodium produces yellow/gold colors. Barium creates green, copper compounds produce blue, strontium salts give you red and titanium metals give you silver coloured sparks.
Other commonly used chemicals are carbon which provides the fuel, oxidizers which produce oxygen for burning, magnesium which increases the overall brilliance and brightness, antimony that gives you a “glitter” effect and calcium which deepens the colors.”
“How do fireworks work?” We found the answer in this video from Science Kids and The Franklin Institute. http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/videos/chemistry/fireworks.html
“Can we make some fireworks?” We don’t have to google this answer, I already know it, “NO!”