It’s called the Atomic Circus, a multimedia chemistry show for kid’s kindergarten through 12th grade, to get them excited about science and higher education.
Montana State University Billings will host its second annual one on Friday, April 12, 2019, from 6:00pm to 7:00pm in Petro Theater on campus.
The ringmaster of the circus is MSUB chemistry professor Matt Queen.
He says the grand vision is to get people learning a lot about science and the scientific method.
“It is to make kids not afraid of science and super into science,” says Queen.
The event on Friday night is free and open to all. It was so popular last year that it was standing room only. This year they will have live streaming in the Glacier Room to allow the overflow crowd to catch all the action.
MSUB gets science going before the big show with fifth grade field trips from Billings Public School students. They spend all day Thursday or Friday on campus, watching a preview of the Atomic Circus, a campus tour and lunch and a hands-on STEM workshops run by faculty in departments including chemistry art, music economics, fire science, geology, math, health and human performance, nutrition and education.
It is an effort on the university’s part of foster positive perceptions of higher education.
Queen says that idea resonated with at least one student last year.
“One of the comments and the one that sticks with me the most,” Queen says, "in essence the student said I never thought of going to college before but now I think I might want to.”
Queen says he gets benefits as well.
“I love seeing the wonder on kids’ eyes as it play out in the front of them.”
Queens adds that he is so lucky to work at a place like MSUB where he gets to do fun activities like the Atomic Circus.