Science psychos

28th February 2003 at 00:00
Those were the days: when science teachers were science teachers and pupils were nervous! The TES website's forum has been flooded by nostalgic scientists hankering for the days when health and safety meant wearing goggles as you blew up the school.

There was the chemistry teacher who "accidentally fed chunks of solid sulphur to some girls. He'd mentioned it was actually edible, and when he turned round they'd helped themselves as if it were bars of rock. It's a laxative." Another chemistry teacher (we always knew they were a dangerous breed) "once dispensed with an unwanted, cricket-ball-sized chunk of potassium by throwing it into the stream which flowed through the school grounds. Bloody hell! KABOOOM!"

And what about the physics teacher who drilled a six foot aluminium pipe full of holes, plugged into the gas main and rigged up a tape player to the other end? "He'd then turn out the lights, turn on the gas and light up 100 little flames. He'd play notes of varying pitches into the loudspeakers and the varying pressure waves would cause the flames to move up and down in patterns." His piece de resistance: playing "Disco Inferno" top blast!

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