Tour Days 27-29: Northern Cheynne Reservation 2009

The last three days have been a blur! First off, on Thursday we toured the science wing of Chief Dull Knife College before heading over to the elementary school with volunteer college students. The protégés of Bob Madsen, science professor extraordinaire, helped us set up before hanging their own shining research posters in the gym for the community to see. They’ve been hard at work developing a cheap water filter made of a mix of zeolite and cement, which filters out virtually all bacteria and viruses, rendering potable water. They were eager to practice explaining their research on us before they take it to the TCUP convention in DC this week!

The next morning we opened to the Lame Deer community, home of the Northern Cheyenne Indians. About 65 children and families came to check out this new and different activity called hands-on science. They loved it! It becomes more and more apparent that isolated rural and tribal communities are eager to enjoy and explore the healthy and stimulating atmosphere of the mobile science center called MosSE, Montana spectrUM Science Experience.

Another day in Lame Deer provided us with the delight of answering and asking interesting questions of our visitors, modeling and playing together with families, witnessing the power and presence of local community volunteer support and engagement, and of squealing with utter delight all over again at the crashing of KEVA planks to the floor.

Oh, and Matt may take a physical sciences teaching position at Chief Dull Knife College this fall, go Matt!

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Tour Day 24-Crow Reservation 2009

Today we set up in Crow Agency, on the Crow Reservation, the Apsaalooke Nation. The two symbols above the pipe are a medicine bag and a sweat lodge.

A few families visited us today, as well as the Bighorn County News, and a class of adult students learning about heavy equipment. Their instructor, Dan, led his students through the exhibits explaining many practical applications of the science involved.

For instance, iron filings are used in identifying cracks in big engine blocks. The area with the possible crack is magnetized and iron filings are dropped on it and instead of filling the crack, they are repelled by the crack and instead line up along the crack, making it visible.

Today we proved that adults just as well as kids can have fun and learn from fun hands-on science! It was also a gift to discover another science enthusiast and impromptu educator. Thanks Dan.