Types of fireworks


Reverend Ron Lancaster MBE demonstrates some of the different types of fireworks, including rockets, shells and Roman candles.

Type of Activity

group work, working independently



Age Group

Primary to 18 years

Ron Lancaster shows us some of the different types of rockets.


Reverend Ron Lancaster MBE is the founder of Kimbolton Fireworks Ltd who are the company who have put on some of the greatest fireworks displays of our times, including the 2012 Olympic games ceremonies, the Queen's Jubilee and New Year's celebrations in London and Edinburgh. The Chemistry of Fireworks lecture was filmed at Kimbolton School in Cambridgeshire.

Warning: These demonstrations have been tailored for this lecture. If you are to perform similar experiments in your laboratory, please make sure you carry out a full risk assessment.

If you teach primary science, click the headings below to find out how to use this resource:

Skill development

Children will develop their working scientifically skills by:

  • Asking their own questions about scientific phenomena.
  • Selecting and planning the most appropriate ways to answer science questions, including:
    • Finding things out using a wide range of secondary sources of information.

Learning outcomes

Children will:

  • Explain that some changes result in the formation of new materials, and that this kind of change is not usually reversible.

Concepts supported

Children will learn:

  • That when chemical reactions occur new materials are formed, and that these reactions are usually irreversible, through the context of fireworks.

Suggested activity use

This resource could provide an opportunity for cross-curricular links with literacy and history. Children could watch the videos about the fireworks and write explanation texts in literacy, explaining how fireworks work and the science involved. In history, children could research the history of fireworks and when they were first introduced.

Practical considerations

The resources are video clips, so you will need access to an interactive whiteboard, laptop or tablet to show the videos to the children.

As these videos feature lectures, they are more likely to be suitable for older primary children.