Stinks, Bangs & Booms

Interactive, responsive website traces the rise and fall of the American chemistry set Visit Site


Digital and Content Strategy, Web design and development, HTML 5, Responsive Site, Timelines, Animation / Illustration

For centuries, chemistry sets have captivated amateur scientists of all ages. Working collaboratively with Philadelphia’s Chemical Heritage Foundation—and inspired by their robust research—Bluecadet conceptualized and developed an engaging online interface that chronicles the chemistry set and its colorful history.

The Stinks, Bangs & Booms website traces the rise and fall of the American chemistry set starting at its inception in 1791, through its subsequent heyday (1920-1960), decline (1960-1979), and recent resurgence. The timeline is guided by succinct slides of text, seamlessly integrated with entertaining, enlightening multimedia elements including vintage science videos, historic artwork, photographs, documents, music, and more. Influential chemists and teachers come to life through spoken audio, while subtle animations and transitions create an elegant, cinematic effect.

Far from a passive educational experience, the microsite encourages interaction throughout: clicking an arrow to flip from screen to screen, cracking a digital egg or pulling a curtain to find answers, (safely) exploring a set’s banned chemicals, and sharing the journey via social media. After listening to personal recollections by notable scientists, users are invited to provide their own childhood memories of the chemistry set.

"The Chemical Heritage Foundation asked Bluecadet to design a mobile-friendly, interactive website with social media components that could also be repurposed as an exhibition component—all on a tight budget and deadline. They delivered on all fronts and made the process fun at the same time."

Shelley Wilks Geehr, Director, Roy Eddleman Institute, Chemical Heritage Foundation

Stinks, Bangs & Booms is responsive across devices, from smartphones to computer screens. In addition to serving as a stand-alone online experience, the website is intended to enhance the Chemical Heritage Foundation’s exhibition of the same name—building advance buzz for its opening in 2015 while collecting user data.


HOW International Design Awards – Merit Winner

W3 Awards – Silver

Pixel Awards – Arts & Culture Category: Nomination People’s Champ

M&W: Best of the Web – Winner: Rich Media

Horizon Interactive Awards – Best in Category: Websites – Consumer Information

Communicator Awards – GOLD: Websites/Science


Visit the Site
  • The History of Modern Chemistry
    Web The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia


  • The History of Modern Chemistry
    Web The Franklin Institute

    The Franklin Institute

  • The History of Modern Chemistry
    Web Temple University

    Tyler School of Art