Other teachers at Ness City High School are thinking outside the box when teaching in this rural Kansas community.

That includes in the school's newly renovated science classroom. Here, teacher Matt Clay is facilitating an eighth-grade project aimed at getting schools in Haiti science kits.

"In 2012 I went to Haiti to help with a plant that was rebuilding," he said. "We took a shortcut by a school.

"You'd see five kids get dropped off to school on one dirt bike - one adult on one dirt bike with five kids hanging off the back," he said.

The daily walks by the school moved him. He always thought that "someday, I want to do something to help these school students."

Now a teacher at Ness City, his eighth-graders are working on experiments to send to Christianville School in Gressier, Haiti.

Christianville has set aside space for a science lab, but does not have materials to fill it, Clay said. The class is working to raise funds for supplies like beakers, graduated cylinders and scales, as well as tablets, through a Gofundme account. So far, students have raised $250 of their $2,000 goal.

Meanwhile, Ness City students are researching different experiments they can send to the country that doesn't cost much. This includes materials to make oobleck, hovercrafts, wind wagons and lava lamps, Clay said.

"We want kids there to learn and experiment like we do here," he said. "If we can put together supplies - that is something they can use over and over."

The rewarding part, too, is the passion he sees in his students for the project.

"It humanizes people in other places for them," Clay said. "Haiti is not an idea - it is a school with humans in it and humans like them, which is really cool for me. And the support they have already gotten."

For more information or to support the project, visit http://hutch.news/nessstudentshaiti.

Kansas Agland Editor Amy Bickel's agriculture roots started in Gypsum. She has been covering Kansas agriculture for more than 15 years. Email her with news, photos and other information at abickel@hutchnews.com or by calling (800) 766-3311 Ext. 320.

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