Beyond the Boom

The Fourth of July is a celebration of this country’s independence from Britain. As yesterday’s infographic showed, what occurred on July 4th, 1776 was not even recognized in England, and barely even shared. Also, as yesterday’s infographic showed, some Americans do not even understand what we celebrate on July 4th, aside from chemical reactions in the sky, alcohol, cookouts, and family gatherings. So what is the biggest thing this country does to celebrate this random day at the beginning of the summer? Shoot off fireworks, and this infographic shares this information in a great way.

The fireworks industry is a billion dollar industry, $940 million for the Fourth of July, plus New Years and other celebrations throughout the year. And launching a spectacular show requires more than just a lighter. Aside from the chemistry involved in creating the firecracker, it also requires physics to know at which angle to shoot it to reach the ideal location. How many people on neighborhood streets are doing physics problems as they light the fuse?

In addition, this infographic shares the difference between a variety of shows across the country. It shows how much is fired, how much it costs, and how many people view the various shows. Why do you suppose some shows are more popular than others? What information needs to be gathered in order to give a better idea as to the reasons behind the popularity.

Finally, ask your students to choose a topic, find something that stands for this topic, and use it in an entire infographic to share data, just like this infographic did in its use of firecrackers.


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