Kids hanging out after school eats into my precious to-do list progress but the feedback and enjoyment really make up for it. Since I'm the chemistry teacher I have a small crew of students that know they can usually get me to show off the fun stuff in our chemical closet. I think I do as many demonstrations outside of class as I do in class. Today my young scientists (1) pyrolyzed a matchhead, (2) did the classic atmospheric pressure steam can crush, (3) sucked a balloon backwards into a flask, and (4) did the meter stick trick where two supporting fingers sliding to the middle always meet at the center of gravity of the stick, including if you balance a weight on one end of the stick to make the center not at 50 cm. This is all while I'm entering homework grades and just calling from across the room what to do next.
Matches have been an attention grabber ever since I bought a big box of the strike-anywhere kind. The matches, in and of themselves, are a topic of fascination with the tenth graders often rivaling their interest in any demonstration I'm trying to show them.
If you too enjoy matches here are a few links I liked.
What's in a match? (very long detailed article at Answers.com detailing the completely different forms of phosphorous in safety versus strike-anywhere matches).
Why use a match in the bathroom? (I wonder if alternative mechanism #3 bears consideration: that the struck match puts activated carbon into the air.)
Matchless firestarters, (including the Ancient Indonesian Air Piston).