Helena High School students had to get creative with this year's Science Circus due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, so they moved the fundraising effort online.
According to senior Emily Hagengruber, students in the HHS Science Seminar class knew they wouldn't be able to hold the circus in person and wanted to do something fun during these tough times, after the event was canceled last year. The 21 students of teacher Missy Sampson's class put their heads together and came up with a solution: put the science in kids' homes.
"This year we decided to do kits you can buy on the website," Hagengruber said. "So people can still do the fun science while being unable to meet in person."
There are eight different kits offering different science experiments on the group's website, www.sciencecircus2021.com. According to student Addee Pickett, these kits are primarily aimed at the pre-kindergarten to fifth grade levels.
"The hope is that they appeal to different kids," Pickett said.
The kits are labeled crystal clear, lucky lava lamps, chromatography butterfly magnets, Play-Doh from scratch, micro volcanoes, moose toothpaste, trace fossil kit and tornado in a bottle. Each kit costs $10 and can be picked up from the school on Fridays and Saturdays throughout the month of March.
Hagengruber said the money earned through these kits will either be used for educational trips or scholarships for the science students.
The science students are also hosting an annual coloring contest, and sheets can be found on the website. Hagengruber said the group is still working out the prize for the coloring contest winner. Additionally, the group is still discussing the possibility of organizing some smaller science demonstrations either online or at the elementary schools.
"I really do not know where to begin with this group of students," said Sampson, their teacher. "They have had nothing 'normal' their senior year and yet they have gone lock, stock and barrel into this project."
Sampson said in the past the Science Circus has always been used to fund an educational trip for the students, and despite that prospect looking bleak these students are putting in an enormous amount of work to make this Circus one of the most successful yet.