Blogging Editorial Gedankenexperiment Ideas Rants Thoughts

The Extinction of the ‘Mentos Volcanoes’

Kiera Wilmot - Florida Teen Girl Charged With Felony After Science Experiment Goes Bad
Kiera Wilmot

Doing my morning reading, when this headline crossed my screen –

Florida Teen Girl Charged With Felony After Science Experiment Goes Bad

and I begin to read –

On 7 a.m. on Monday, the 16 year-old mixed some common household chemicals in a small 8 oz water bottle on the grounds of Bartow High School in Bartow, Florida.

The reaction caused a small explosion that caused the top to pop up and produced some smoke. No one was hurt and no damage was caused.-

and in further reading, it does suggest that the girl, Kiera Wilmont, did make some bad decisions, but at the same time: Where was the Teacher? Adviser? Adult?

What were the chemicals involved?

Common household chemicals“?

If the chemicals were that volatile, in a room full of people, where was the oversight?

Kiera was lead away in “handcuffs and expelled from school” for her little experiment, and should complete her diploma through the expulsion program while in juvenile detention.

Basically, her life has been ruined…

Back when I was in grade school science class, there was always ‘talk’ of someone doing the classic ‘baking soda & vinegar’ (acid-base reaction) with food coloring volcanoes…

with todays equivalent being a substitution of ‘mentos and diet coke’ (nucleation)…

But they were Banned from my school…

Not because they exploded, as everyone knew they would, but because they had been done too many times before, as in boring!

Explosions and Science are not new friends!

One does have to wonder what we are saying to kids if you have an accident in science class, you might go to jail.

Then there is the possibility, that the ‘mentos volcanoes’ will disappear from the classroom, altogether  and generations of future kids will no longer understand the fun as seen in the old movies.

Maybe, if we wish to be safe, maybe we can just do all science with thought experiments (Gedankenexperiment)!

Here is one I just came up with!

A company located in western Texas, stores several thousands of tons of unreported chemicals at their place of business, and it explodes, killing several people in the area.

Who goes to jail this time?

- Andrew
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[5/17/2013 15:35 – Added]

No… what… wait a second…

She imitated something she had seen on the internet, knowing it would explode…

On school grounds…

and she is getting a scholarship to Space camp?

[5/17/2013 15:34 – Added]

This is VERY, VERY Cool!

“Homer Hickam — the writer and former NASA engineer whose memoir is the basis of the movie October Sky — started a Crowdtilt campaign to send Wilmot and her twin sister Kayla to the Advanced Space Academy program at the U.S. Space Camp in Huntsville, Ala.”

If you have never seen “October Sky”, I highly recommend it!

[5/17/2013 10:34 – Added]
Good News and Bad News!

[5/1/2013 14:43 – Added]

I am into physics, and still like to watch things go boom!

Arresting her and being taken to jail… a little much…

Bring her into the Headmaster/Principals Office and having a LONG conversation with the Parents and Child… Priceless and would have caused allot less of an issue…

[5/1/2013 13:56 – Added] – “Florida teen charged with felony for trying science

Riptide – “Florida School Responds To Criticism For Expelling Student Over Science Project: “There Are Consequences To Actions”

[5/1/2013 12:56 – Added]

In continuing to read through the various comments, there appears to be another side coming out… Drano Bottle Bombs

[5/1/2013 12:32 – Added]
Bartow High School Principal – Ronald Pritchard
Address: 1270 S Broadway Ave Bartow, FL 33830
PHONE:(863)- 534-7400 Fax: (863)534-0077

Polk County Superintendent – Dr. John Stewart
Address: 1915 South Floral Avenue, Bartow, FL 33831
Phone: (863) 534-0521 Fax: (863) 519-8231

Polk Regional Juvenile Detention Ctr/Bartow police
ADDRESS: 2155 Bob Phillips Road, Bartow, FL 33830
TEL: 863-534-7090
FAX: 863-534-7024

Here is an interesting link to the “Polk Regional Juvenile Detention Ctr”
P.O.L.K “Protect Our Lost Kids” in Polk Co, Fl

Original Thread of ideas

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By Andrew

A Father, Photographer and Computer Geek living in Chester County (PA).

My Photo Journal of images taken in Chester and Lancaster Counties, including Covered Bridges, Barns, Nature, Fine Art and Events. Images can also be found on and