How Are Fireworks Made? (and other 4th of July thoughts…)


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Most every American can agree that the Fourth of the July is one of the best holidays of the year.  Usually, the air is warm, the sun is out, and cool drinks are flowing. But in between barbeques and trips to the beach, the true meaning of the fourth of July sometimes gets forgotten.  We must remember what Independence Day means for us Americans.  It is a day to reflect on what it truly means to be free;  to remember those who have fallen and those who continue to fight for our freedom and one of the most important symbols of our freedom is the firework.

When looking up at the beautiful night sky mesmerized by fireworks, many thoughts might come into your head including, “Freedom, Independence, Beauty”

For myself, I am a little bit more scientific in thought (or as I would like to think I am)!

I want to know how this All-American symbol is constructed.  So when you either stand, sit, or lay down in the grass in awe of the beautiful night sky exploding with color, you will be able to answer this exact question… How are fireworks made?!

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To start off, experts believe that fireworks originated in China over 1,000 years ago.  Still today, China is the largest manufacturer of the brilliant invention.  There are three types of fireworks; Fire-crackers, Sparklers, and Aerial Fireworks.

Firecrackers are simple rolled up paper tubes filled with black powder and a fuse.  When you light the fuse of a firecracker, the fire burns along that fuse until it reaches the powder. BOOM. Explosion.

Pretty simple, right?

Next, sparklers are different in that they make bright, sparkly light.  They contain more substances than a short explosion or firecracker. The bright sparks consist of burning bits of dust made of metals such as aluminum, iron, steel, zinc, or magnesium.  Kids, remember, these are not edible….

Aerial fireworks, in my opinion, are the best.  Usually, these are made up of four parts inside a shell.  The container, the fuse, the powder, and the stars.  The shells are then launched into the sky from short pipes filled with a lifting charge of black powder.  The lifting then lights the shell’s fuse and when the flame hits the shell.  The explosion pushes the stars in all directions, creating the spectacular display.

The colors are produced by carefully mixing the right kinds of chemical compounds.  For example, blue is made up of copper compounds.  And that’s your science lesson for today, folks.

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Source: http://wonderopolis.org/wonder/how-are-fireworks-made/

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