Video News Tip: For Some Students, the Final Exam Is a Blast

Article ID: 596970

Released: 6-Dec-2012 12:40 PM EST

Source Newsroom: Missouri University of Science and Technology

(To obtain production-quality video footage, contact Terry Barner, Missouri S&T video productions, at 573-341-4328 or email

Newswise — ROLLA, Mo. – While many college students dread final exams at the end of a semester, a group of explosives engineering students at Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) has a blast during finals.

For their final exam, students enrolled in Explosives Engineering 313, Stage Pyrotechnics and Special Effects, design and set off fireworks displays similar to what you might expect at a rock concert or WWF wrestling event. The students learn theoretical and practical aspects of pyrotechnics design, as well as safety, says Dr. Paul N. Worsey, professor of mining engineering at Missouri S&T and the instructor for the course. “We cover everything you need to know about close-proximity pyrotechnics,” he says.

Working in teams of four or five, the students design displays and set them off during an actual rock concert at Missouri S&T’s Experimental Mine on Bridge School Road in southwest Rolla. The rock band consists of other S&T students.

This fall, 21 S&T students enrolled in the pyrotechnics course. Their final exam was held Nov. 13.

In 2005, Missouri S&T became the first university in the nation to offer undergraduate and postgraduate minors in explosive engineering as part of its mining engineering program. In 2010, the university began offering a master’s degree in explosives engineering. The university also offers a popular “explosive camp” to high school students for three weeks every summer.

Students interviewed on video:

* Matthew Coy of Lewistown, Mo., a graduate student in mining engineering and co-instructor of the course.

* Jenna Freese of Ozark, Mo., a junior majoring in mining engineering.

* Lindsay Brandt of Western Springs, Ill., a senior in mining and explosives engineering.

* Lindsay Miller, of St. Peters, Mo., a senior in mining and explosives engineering and a teaching assistant for the course.


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