Scientific Explorer's Spa Science Chemistry KitMy whole (now mostly gone) obsession with making beauty products at home, started last Christmas when I got Michaela a Scientific Explorer’s Spa Science Chemistry Kit. Mika sort of liked it, but I thought the concept of making cosmetics at home was pretty cool. I have to admit that there wasn’t much in the way of “science” to this kit – beyond learning about the interactions of baking soda and citric acid in making bath bombs – but I was happy that at least there was the attempt to make the kit seem scientific.
Well, it seems that Elmer’s, the company which manufactures the kits under its division Scientific Explorer, thinks that attempt may be turning off some: it is now marketing the same kit under the name spakit.jpgTotally Glamorous Spa Kit – carefully omitting the word “science”. Other than that, and the fact that “Spa Science” comes under the brand “Scientific Explorer” while “Spa Kit” comes under the brand “Elmer’s”, the packaging is identical.
You can buy “Spa Science” at Amazon, Target and Barnes & Noble. “Glamorous Spa Kit” is available at Walmart and Toys R Us. Does this say something about the demographics of who shops in those stores and how marketers believe they should approach different demographics?
I don’t know for sure, but it seems to me that Elmer is cynically assuming that some people (poorer people?) will be turned off by a kit if the word “Science” is in it, if there is even the possibility that their daughters (because this is a set which is marketed towards girls and will mostly appeal to girls) will learn something from it. That’s pretty sad – as is the possibility that they might be right.

I wrote to costumer service at Elmer’s with this concern and this is the response I got:
“The reason that Spa Science is marketed under Scientific Explorer and
Totally Glamorous Spa Kit under the Elmer’s name is not related to whether
buyers at one chain will purchase a science kit while those at another will
not. Instead, it goes back to an old arrangement prior to Elmer’s purchase
of Scientific Explorer, whereby certain stores carried the Elmer’s brand and
others, the Scientific Explorer brand. That has since changed and we will be
transitioning away from the Elmer’s brand altogether for future science
It’s good to know.