WhyNotChemEng is a site for science teachers that is trying to encourage the inclusion of fun, safe and relevant demonstrations to the Key Stage 4 Science curriculum. They have provided a list of their top 10 ways to start lessons with a bang! There’s a video of each demonstration, and a downloadable helpsheet that explains how to do it. This includes the Whoosh Bottle, Frothy Foam and Screaming Jelly Babies 😉 Take a look here.
While it’s nice to be able to show videos and suchlike on the IWB, they shouldn’t be used as a replacement for proper demonstrations and experiments if you can do them. Ideally still do them, and then the videos and simulations can be used to supplement the learning or for revision at a later stage. I still don’t think you can beat the impact of really seeing an explosion with your own eyes. And as long as you take precautions, and do a risk assessment, then they can be done safely. I would try and do the Thermite Reaction as often as possible when I was teaching.
Even better, why not try some of these demos and make your own videos with a Flip video camera and share them online?