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KaBOOM! What Makes a Firework Work?

Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts

What makes a firework … work? On the cusp of Independence Day we speak with John Conkling, a chemist and former director of the American Pyrotechnic Association, who describes what goes inside fireworks to make audiences say oooh and aaaah! Then Jason Farrell, a script designer from Pyrotechnico Fireworks joins us. He's in charge of the design and detonation of hundreds of pounds of fireworks for the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts ‘Ports America Chesapeake Fourth of July Celebration’ at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor!

For information about the fireworks show in Baltimore's Inner Harbor, visit this link. Visit this link to find Conkling's book, BOOM! America's Ever-Evolving Fireworks Industry.

https://vimeo.com/12772132">Watch this video to learn more about the science of fireworks!

Wildlife can be affected by fireworks ... check outthis link for responsible firework viewing.

Melissa Gerr is a Senior Producer for On the Record. She started in public media at Twin Cities Public Television in St. Paul, Minn., where she is from, and then worked as a field producer for Oregon Public Broadcasting in Portland. She made the jump to audio-lover in Baltimore as a digital media editor at Mid-Atlantic Media and Laureate Education, Inc. and as a field producer for "Out of the Blocks." Her beat is typically the off-beat with an emphasis on science, culture and things that make you say, 'Wait, what?'