CASPER, Wyo — The Science Zone in Casper began posting live, home-friendly science experiments within the first week of public school closures in mid-March, 2020 to keep science literacy and citizenship alive among students and families.
On Thursday, June 4 , The Science Zone’s “Virtual Science Variety Show,” will feature “Things you should definitely not try at home,” according to the organization’s Education Specialist Dr. Kelsey Phillips. “But I will say it will be ‘a blast’; definitely great to watch on video!”
“It’s something never before seen in Casper,” said Science Zone Director Steven Schnell. He said they are making the best of the socially-distanced format with “larger-scale” demonstrations that will “give folks a good show.”
This and other scientific demonstrations of the spectacular, don’t-try-at-home variety will be streamed during the “Virtual Science Variety Show,” at 6:00 p.m. June 4. The event will take place in lieu of the traditional Elemental Evening fundraiser, and stream from the Science Zone’s webpage, Facebook page, and YouTube channel.
The Science Zone is hoping to raise $25,000 to fund its operations, offer scholarships, and book traveling exhibits. The organization is seeking donations and sponsorships, and offering raffles leading up to the June 4 event.
Raffle prizes include admission for four to the Kennedy Space Center, 288 holes of golf around Wyoming (with comped RV rental for the weekend), a 280-watt solar panel, and season tickets to Stage III Community Theater. Raffle tickets are 10-for-$10 and must be purchased before 7:00 pm, June 4th.
The funds go toward The Science Zone’s operational costs, including scholarships, summer camps, and the booking of traveling exhibits. The Science Zone is offering both virtual and in-person outdoor camps this summer and will include catapult builds and bird-watching guides. The outdoor camps will include venues like Rotary Park and Edness Kimball Wilkins Sate Park. The camps are 5 days long and book week-by-week.
“This will help us put our best foot forward with these programs,” Schnell said.
In addition to the “explosive” headline demonstration, Schnell said the “Virtual Science Variety Show” will feature experiments dealing with thermite, gas and pressure laws, and “cuddles” with the Zoo animals. Schnell said Chad Lore is expected to play a song, and other major guests are in talks to attend.
According to Dr. Phillips, The Science Zone “is committed to help people understand science as a process, a discipline, and a way of life. It’s important as community members.”
The Science Zone has been closed to public access since March 15, during which time they pivoted to virtual tours, at-home science kits, and video production, producing over 150 video.
“It’s been a whirlwind,” Schnell said, looking back.
The event can be accessed on the The Science Zone’s Facebook page, Youtube channel, or the main site.