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Pyrotechnic Courses and Classes Overview

Pyrotechnic courses are not usually available as part of a degree or certificate program. Training courses for individuals seeking a career in pyrotechnics are often offered by pyrotechnic companies; community colleges may offer some classes for personal enrichment. Students gain practical experience working with fireworks, explosives and other pyrotechnic devices.

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Pyrotechnic Courses Overview

Beginning Pyrotechnics

The art and science of fireworks displays, pyrotechnics, is an important part of many American celebrations, namely the Fourth of July. Beginning pyrotechnic courses introduce participants to the technical, musical and performance aspects of fireworks displays with commercial fireworks demonstrations that culminate in hands-on firing. Other topics include requirements for purchasing and storing fireworks, safe practices, show scripting, multiple-shot and finale fusing, fireworks insurance and textbook hand-shooting.

Advanced Pyrotechnics

The technology of pyrotechnics is becoming more sophisticated every day. Students in the advanced pyrotechnics courses learn to design and engineer fireworks shows that have been orchestrated with music timed for dramatic effect. Detonation times of selected fireworks are recorded in a database, allowing music to be time-coded for perfect synchrony. Students may design and program a variety of multiple-shot arrangements and effects.

Safety and Requirements in Pyrotechnics

Students taking this course take learn to take specific safety precautions in regard to firing explosives and using explosive devices. They study ways to maintain the safety of onlookers, particularly during fireworks shows, by clearing a section around the detonation area. Often, this course covers licenses that must be obtained and other requirements that must be met in order to have a fireworks display.

Pyrotechnics and Special Effects

Using real explosions, gun shots or fires for film or TV is expensive and dangerous; in this course, students learn to create safe but realistic-looking explosions. They use machines to create fog, smoke, wind, rain, fire, fireworks and other pyrotechnics for special effects, then use computer software to make them appear real. Students identify some of the main problems with using pyrotechnics for special affects and discuss ways to make special effects that look and behave realistically.

Pyrotechnics Specialist Course

Students taking this course gain experience organizing and displaying laser shows and firework displays for indoor and outdoor audiences. The course emphasizes safety measures, including ear and eye protection and distance management. Lasers, fire, explosives and gunpowder are often used as part of the class. Sometimes, this course involves practical experience; students might work with a company that creates shows to practice designing and detonating pyrotechnic displays.

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