By John Lauritsen

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — At the University of Minnesota, frigid temps meant fashion took a back seat to scarves and ski masks.

“I have three sweatshirts on. Two pairs of leggings. This coat is the warmest thing in the world. It saves me,” said senior Sadie Strassman on Tuesday.

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Finals week means plenty of foot traffic. And it’s rare in December that final exams are accompanied by a polar vortex.

“Kind of miserable,” said sophomore Veronica Thomas. “The sound of it alone is too much for me.”

WCCO meteorologist Kylie Bearse says a polar vortex means we are stuck in a swirling mass of cold air.

“It’s cold, arctic air that is over Minnesota and a good portion of the country,” Bearse said.

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While college students just tried to get through the cold, students at Hope Academy in Minneapolis embraced it.

They shattered frozen flowers and frozen shirts in the name of science.

“It’s pretty cool how everything changes when it gets into the cold,” said 8th-grader Jeremiah Rupert.

Upper School Principal Nathan Ziegler has created his own YouTube channel to help students learn.

His latest experiment is making a sled out of frozen Orbeez- and then taking it down the hill.

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“Usually we have to wait until January or February. That’s usually when it gets the coldest,” Ziegler said. “It’s kind of fun being able to do them in December.”

John Lauritsen