Fireworks safety


Paul Worsey instructs campers on fireworks safety. Photo by B.A. Rupert

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Paul Worsey is an explosives expert. He’s been known to blow up watermelons and other objects for fun, but, as a professor of mining engineering at Missouri S&T, he also teaches students about the science behind creating various explosions.

An important part of the art of blowing stuff up is safety (obviously). Each summer, Worsey holds Explosives Camp sessions for high school students. They get hands-on experience, but first they get safety lectures. Goggles, helmets and ear plugs are required while blowing up boulders or generating huge water spouts. The campers also create fireworks displays and learn about jobs in the explosives industry.

The students, who come from all over the country, take field trips to quarries and to a pyrotechnics business during the camp. Except for the field trips, most activities take place at S&T’s Experimental Mine.

Missouri S&T became the first university in the nation to offer a minor in explosives engineering (through its mining engineering program) in 2005. The university now offers a master’s degree in explosives engineering as well. Some graduates pursue mining careers. Others get jobs doing all kinds of demolition work.

More information is available at

Story by Missouri S&T Communications

Video by Terry Barner


  1. I wouldn’t wear that t-shirt at the airport =)

  2. Dr. George W. Karr says

    Yesterday we watched a spectacular fireworks display at Grace Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
    It was the best that I have ever seen anywhere in the 78 years that I have enjoyed Independence Day celebrations.
    I am proud that S&T is helping with both commercial and entertainment explosions.