NOVA Online (click here for NOVA home)
Fireworks! (see links below for navigation)
  NOVA news minutes

Welcome to the companion Web site to "Fireworks!," originally broadcast on January 29, 2002. This explosive NOVA presents the colorful history of pyrotechnics and reveals how hi-tech firing systems are transforming public displays into a dazzling, split-second science. Here's what you'll find online:
  • Name That Shell
    Watch video clips of fireworks bursting in air and find out how well you know your chrysanthemums from your peonies, your roman candles from your palm trees.

  • Anatomy of a Firework
    Where you see brilliant light and vivid color, a pyrotechnician sees a successful lift charge, black powder mix, time-delay fuse, bursting charge, and other essential ingredients.

  • Pyrotechnically Speaking
    Dr. John Conkling, adjunct professor of chemistry at Washington College and former executive director of the American Pyrotechnics Association, describes what it is about fireworks that gets him, well, all fired up.

  • On Fire (Hot Science)
    This virtual laboratory lets you explore the basics of combustion, including how a fire ignites, what a flame is made of, and how burning molecules rearrange themselves.

Plus Resources and a Teacher's Guide

To learn more about upcoming NOVA features, join our mailing list.

Photo credits

Name That Shell | Anatomy of a Firework | Pyrotechnically Speaking | On Fire
Resources | Transcript | Teacher's Guide | Site Map

NOVA Online | Search | Site Map | Previously Featured | Schedule | Feedback | Teachers | Shop
Editor's Picks | Join Us/E-mail | About NOVA | Watch NOVAs online | To print

  NOVA Online is produced for PBS by the WGBH Science Unit.
Funding for NOVA is provided by ExxonMobil, David H. Koch, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and public television viewers.

WGBH, PBS, Park Foundation, Sprint, and Microsoft

© | created January 2002
Shop Teachers Feedback Schedule Previously Featured Site Map Search NOVA Home PBS WGBH ExxonMobil HHMI CPB Teacher's Guide Resources On Fire Pyrotechnically Speaking Anatomy of a Firework Name That Shell