Highgrove Education

Fireworks and Other Explosions

Learn about the role of Chemistry in fireworks. The course starts with an analysis of combustion and what makes an explosion occur, including which chemicals are involved and how they ignite. We consider why it is important to make things explode, such as airbags for safety reasons. We look at different propellants and which choices are made in particular circumstances. This is suitable for any year group, with no prerequisite experience of science and chemistry.

Private Tuition

Key Information



Access Course Enrolment:
  • Enrolment in our pre-GCSE or pre-A level access course.
  • Access to our self-study materials and platform, live class lessons, and individual teacher support in Office Hours.
  • Weekly teacher-marked homework.
  • Half termly reports.
  • Support from our SENDCo for pupils with special educational needs or disabilities, including assessment for access arrangement entitlement.
  • Support with English for pupils whose first language is not English.
  • A Highgrove Education Office365 account, including Teams, SharePoint and a school email
TeacherMr Crispin Davis, Chemistry Teacher
Course Length10 weeks 
Live LessonsOne 45-minute lesson per week
HomeworkApproximately half an hour a week 
Entry RequirementsNone  

Course Syllabus

Lesson 1Fire
Lesson 2What is an explosion.
Lesson 3Nitrous oxide and car engines
Lesson 4Colours in fireworks
Lesson 5Propulsion in fireworks
Lesson 6Black powder
Lesson 7Air Bags
Lesson 8TNT, Nitro-glycerine and Gun Cotton
Lesson 9Contact explosives
Lesson 10Modern developments in explosives.

Teacher Profile

Mr Davis has Masters’ Degrees in Organic Chemistry and Educational Management, both studied at Sheffield University. Since then he has taught in high profile independent schools, including roles as Head of Science at Francis Holland School and Academic Deputy Head at LVS Ascot. He was Vice Principal at Harrow School Online, teaching A level Chemistry, EPQ, UCAT and BMAT courses. He is an A level Chemistry examiner.