Science Time

Combustion: Some Burning Questions

 This 1-hour presentation takes students on a fascinating journey through the nature of combustion. It addresses concepts which include the fire diamond, combustion as a chemical reaction, flame retardants, extinguishing fires, different kinds of combustion, sparks and colours in fireworks, the effect of particle size on combustion, and the safe use of fire in the stunt industry.

Students will see, among other things, burning steel, spontaneous combustion, use of a fire extinguisher, sparks, brilliantly burning materials, a dust flare, and "cool" fire and understand regulations governing the labelling of children's night clothes. They will come away with a deep fascination, and very healthy respect, for the phenomenon we call fire.

silo explosion


The content of this show relates to the following content descriptions of the Australian Curriculum: Science.
Science Understanding: ACSSU 095, 225, 179.
Science as a Human Endeavour: ACSHE 013, 021, 022, 034, 035, 050, 051, 062.
Science Inquiry Skills: ACSIS 011, 024, 037.


Suitable for upper primary and lower secondary. A modified Magic Science show for lower primary is also available.


Cost: $6.00, plus 60c GST, per student
Minimum: $660, plus $66 GST
Teacher Notes supplied

Venue Requirements 

Data projector and screen, three tables, enclosed venue (flames cannot be seen in bright light).

Feedback From Schools

  • “Many awesome demonstrations. The students were engaged and eager to talk about the science in the show.” Michelle Jarrett, Sathya Sai School, Murwillumbah, NSW
  • "They loved it. The content was terrific, and younger children enjoyed the actual experiments, like the flames. Very organised, liked the consistent encouragement for audience participation. Sue Salsbury, The Scots School, Albury
  • "The students were enthused to learn more about combustion . . . There was a wonderful rapport with the class . . . a very worthwhile, quality programme and . . . a value for money activity." Ken Steele, Mornington Island State School