1953 photos of the chemistry teacher you wish you had

LIFE Alyea 1

This is Hubert Alyea, a Princeton University professor who clearly loves teaching science. “Grimacing with fiendish delight,” LIFE wrote about Alyea in 1953, “he sets off explosions, shoots water pistols and sprays his audience with carbon dioxide in the course of 32 harrowing experiments dramatizing complicated theory.” LIFE With Hubert Alyea: The Science Teacher You Wish You Had