When I was in high school, I had a chemistry teacher who liked to blow things up. Mix a little of this chemical with that chemical, light a match, and then—bam! Smoke, flames, and a whole room of teenagers saying, “Wow, cool! How did that happen?”
The shock of the explosion—even a small explosion—was enough to compel a group of teenagers to pay attention to a lesson about, for example, formulas and atomic weight.