Summer school with a bang

At University of Missouri-Rolla’s Summer Explosives Camp, high school students learn how to blow things up. In theory, they’re interested in careers in mining and demolition. Or they just like blowing things up.

Students with a passion for all things explosive and proof of United States citizenship pay a $450 fee that covers food, lodging and incidentals like dynamite. In the course of a week, the 22 students at this session set off a wall of fire, blasted water out of a pond, blew up a tree stump and obliterated a watermelon. They set off explosive charges in the school’s mine and finished off the week by creating their own fireworks show for their parents.

“We try to give them an absolute smorgasbord of explosives,” said Paul Worsey, a professor in the department of mining engineering at the University of Missouri-Rolla, the only university in the country that offers an academic minor in explosives engineering. More than six billion pounds of explosives are used each year in this country by civilian commercial industry for things like mining and demolition.

Camp instructors urge students to avoid blowing themselves up before they have a chance to qualify for careers as explosives specialists.

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Comments

  1. Walter E. Wallis says:

    In the army we used to dispose of surplus explosives by burning. I used to wonder why cops blew stuff up instead of burning, until I figuered it out. Blowing stuff up is fun.

  2. “Summer Explosives Camp”? That is just plain awesome.

  3. Walter E. Wallis says:

    People used to buy worthless mining claims from Seldom Seen Slim so they could buy dynamite to blow holes on weekend visits to the desert.

  4. God, what must a transcript look like? Or a report card? Or the final exam? “Final” probably being a poor word to choose in this context.
    ————————————————-
    Stump clearing 3.2
    Ditching 3.5
    Borehole drilling 3.0
    TNT v. Dynamite, the
    debate goes on 2.8
    The life and history
    of Alfred Nobel 2.5
    Really big explosions 4.0

    Comments: Brandon shows a great deal of enthusiasm in hands-on classes, less in academic subjects. He gets along well with the other students but his tendency to trip and drop things him makes less popular with the students and staff then he might otherwise be. The development of his higher-order explosives skills is quite advance although his tendency to mutter “I’ll show them” is suggestive of inappropriate attitudes.
    ——————————————

    I wonder what pedagogical school of thought the school espouses? De-constructivism? Ba-dum-bum.

  5. Alex Bensky says:

    Any chance they’d take a middle-aged camper? It sounds like a blast. I’d show up in a burst of enthusiasm.

    No kidding, this sounds for want of a better word, cool.

  6. In the course of a week, the 22 students at this session set off a wall of fire, blasted water out of a pond, blew up a tree stump and obliterated a watermelon.

    Somewhere I suspect that Gallagher is trying to find a way into this class…

  7. Walter E. Wallis says:

    How many CEUs?