hhtd science circus 1PHOTO:  Science Circus “performers” demonstrate a science experiment with fog. – Credit Melissa Mohr

HIGHLANDS, NJ –  The Henry Hudson Tri-District Education Foundation (HHTDEF) does it again.  On the heels of the HHTDEF’s successful inaugural “Will It Float” cardboard boat races sponsored just a few weeks ago, the trustees brought an interactive assembly given by Liberty Science Center (LSC) to Henry Hudson Regional School (HHRS) on Tuesday evening, October 3.  The program was free to all, with many of the attendees generously giving donations to further advance HHTDEF’s STEAM initiatives and grants.


The program, called “Science Circus,” is LSC’s most popular show and is geared to grades 1-8.  Brittany Rosenberg and David Brunkhorst of LSC presented the positives and negatives of static electricity, states of matter, differences and qualities of air pressure and most entertaining–the subzero temperatures of liquid nitrogen. Throughout the evening, volunteers from the audience participated in over a dozen engaging and amusing experiments, all demonstrating the concepts of energy and matter.


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hhtd science circus 2Piggybacking on the interactive program were pre-program activities run by a number of the clubs at HHRS, including face painting, temporary tattoos, pumpkin decorating, and baked goods and school spirit wear for sale with proceeds funding clubs and field trips.  Students visiting from Atlantic Highlands’ and Highlands’ elementary schools joined HHRS middle schoolers and their parents for evening’s activities.  “For an inaugural event, this one was well-attended, interactive and generated lots of enthusiasm for Science with our children, faculty members and parents!” said Superintendent Dr. Susan Compton.  All three school principals were on hand – Lenore Kingsmore from HHRS, Janet Walling from AHES and Rosemary Schutz from HES – and each praised the event, saying, “I loved it!”

Student volunteers helped the LSC presenters prove the properties of matter, electricity and plasma.  Orianna Nolan, David Gannon, Ryan Kenny, Mason Zamkotowicz, Layla Ilarraza, Jayson Cinquegrana, Zosia Bowbliss, Alex Trenet, Marishka Erelich, Jake Curry and Nathan Boms all amused the audience with their cooperative and enthusiastic participation.  They experimented with flying Rice Krispies, magnetized balloons, fog, suction cups, beach balls and a leaf blower.  These student volunteers were instrumental in the engagement, inspiration and education of the audience.  The very professional presenters and volunteers used proper personal protection when necessary—demonstrating Standard Operating Safety Procedures.

Organizer and board trustee, Crystal Denvir, was amazed at the reaction of both the children and the adults.  She said, “I knew it would be a great program, but I had no idea it would be such fun too!”  Other board trustees in attendance were surprised at how educational the program was and one commented, “I finally know the difference between a high pressure system and a low-pressure system and how they affect each other in weather patterns.”

Several of the Tri-District teachers were inspired to grant their students homework passes for attending the assembly and came to enjoy the program as well—in the audience were Mrs. Phair, Mrs. Bellantoni, Miss Bogachuck and Mrs. Fitzsimmons.

The positive feedback from the audience to the many volunteer HHTDEF board trustees in attendance was a guarantee that funding another LSC program would happen in the very near future. One dad commented on his way out the door, “This program was great and worth missing the Yankee game on TV!”

About Liberty Science Center

Liberty Science Center (LSC.org) is a 300,000-square-foot not-for-profit learning center located in Liberty State Park on the Jersey City bank of the Hudson near the Statue of Liberty. Dedicated to bringing the power, promise, and pure fun of science and technology to people of all ages, Liberty Science Center houses 12 museum exhibition halls, a live animal collection with 110 species, giant aquariums, a 3D theater, live simulcast surgeries, a tornado-force wind simulator, K-12 classrooms and labs, and teacher-development programs. More than 250,000 students visit the Science Center each year, and tens of thousands more participate in the Center’s offsite and online programs. LSC is the largest interactive science center in the NYC-NJ metropolitan area.

The Henry Hudson Tri-District Education Foundation’s mission is to support innovations in science, technology, engineering, arts, and math programs in addition to supporting athletics at the Highlands and Atlantic Highlands schools.  For more information about HHTDEF and their events or to donate, visit www.hhtdef.org, email [email protected] or find them on Facebook.

Pictures – Credit Melissa Mohr

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Allan Dean

Allan Dean is editor, publisher, and founder of the Atlantic Highlands Herald. Published since 1999 and selected in 2000 by the Borough of Atlantic Highlands as one of their official newspapers, making...