The Kennedy Center: Oxidation and Combustion - Chemical Reactions in Fire

Fireworks and Design

A wide variety of science concepts can be explored through the study of fireworks. This lesson uses fireworks as a lens through which students explore concepts such as exothermic and endothermic reactions, combustion, and oxidation-reduction reactions.

Students make predictions about the results of oxidation-reduction reactions that occur with a candle’s flame. They will also conduct online activities to learn how fireworks shells are made and explore how various chemical reactions result in different fireworks effects in the night sky.

Finally, students will learn that there is an art to creating fireworks displays. They will learn design concepts such as repetition, emphasis, and balance, and use online tools to design their own fireworks displays.


Chemistry, Heat, Oxidation
High School

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