TikTok’s favorite chemistry teacher wants you to be careful with hydrogen peroxide
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge
High school chemistry teacher Phil Cook (@chemteacherphil) didn’t know anything about TikTok until one Friday in August, when a student in his class suggested that he make one of the day’s in-class demonstration: an experiment he calls the “gummy bear” sacrifice, where adding sugar (a gummy bear) to a test tube of potassium chlorate creates a contained explosion.
“I said, here’s my phone, make the video and we can take a look at it,” Cook says. He posted the video to TikTok and left school for the weekend. “I came back Monday, and the kids were like, ‘Did you see how many views you got?’ I hadn’t even looked at it,” Cook says. In just two days, the video had around 30,000 views.
After seeing the response, Cook decided to keep making…