Chemistry can be tough, especially for a guy like me who is, what I like to call a “noob” when it comes to science. But if you are on TikTok, the most popular video-sharing platform, @chemteacherphil has got you covered.
A high school teacher from the States named Phillip Cook who teaches Chemistry is gaining a huge amount of fans on the social platform TikTok. It all started with an in-class demonstration of an experiment which he calls the “gummy bear sacrifice”.
On Friday, he was demonstrating how adding a gummy bear (sugar) to a test tube of potassium chlorate creates a contained explosion. One of his students suggested making a video of the experiment.
“I said, here’s my phone, make the video and we can take a look at it,” Cook says.
The student made the video and Cook posted the video on TikTok before he 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,” the teacher said.
The video of the experiment was viewed for over 30,000 times on the social platform in just 2 days. After this event, Cook started making videos of interesting Chemistry experiments and started posting them on TikTok. As of this moment, he has almost 950,000 followers and is on his way to gain a million followers soon.
Unlike other cool experiment videos showcasing just the reaction of the chemicals, Cook takes a different approach for his followers. Instead of only showing the weird chemical reactions he explains the science behind them and sometimes also ask his followers to guess why the reaction is happening. This strategy engages his followers with the videos and “spark their curiosity”.
One of his popular videos includes a polymer sodium alginate reaction, which inspired a lot of nostalgia as it was present in a popular card game of Yu-Gi-Oh!
When The Verge asked him about his goal of making these Chemistry videos, the teacher said, “The only reason I do them is because people seem to be interested in them”. Further, he added that it inspires him when he gets comments like “I wish my Chemistry teacher would have done that, my experience was different, thanks for giving me a second shot at Chemistry.“
So if you notice that you are having difficulties understanding Chemistry or you are just curious about chemical reactions, just head to @chemteacherphil on TikTok and quench your thirst of curiosity. I wish he was present when I was struggling with those chemicals in school.