Hello readers, Sarah and I are here on our last day of this trip, in Hysham, Montana.  spectrUM has now reached a new county, Treasure County, on their map!

We arrived in Hysham super late last night after our long day in Busby, and set up the exhibits at 10pm.  We stayed at a house near the school, and woke up early today to share our “Hands on Health” exhibit with the students.  They were so excited to have us at their school; it was a joy to see big smiles on their faces when they walked into their gym that had been transformed into a science museum!  They were so knowledgeable and a ton of fun to work with!

We want to send a big THANK YOU to Hysham Public School District for finding room for us at the last minute.  And thank you to the Principal for helping us load and unload.  We were so excited to share hands-on science with the K-12 students today!

Now we are back in the trusty UHaul one last time, heading back to Bozeman.  We have now logged over 2,100 miles on our fall tour so far!

Someone from spectrUM is coming to pick up the UHaul tomorrow and return it to Missoula.  They are going to prepare the exhibits for more outreach events near Missoula in November.  Keep reading to hear more exciting stories from the road as spectrUM brings hands-on science throughout Montana.

Erin and Sarah

Montana Students exposed to new scientific experiences today: 117

Tour-to-Date Total: 2665


Busby Eagles

Sarah and I had to wake up very early this morning.  We drove to Busby in the Northern Cheyenne Reservation and get our “Hands on Health” exhibit set up in the school before the sun rose.  And with the full day of field trip visitors and a Family Science Night, we left the school very late, after the sun set.  So we unfortunately did not see much of the town, but we did have a fantastic day with the students of the Northern Cheyenne Tribal School.

As I had mentioned, we were supposed to be here in Busby for two days.  However, the school had a special treat when their cross country team won their regional tournament and were heading to the state tournament!  Way to go Busby Eagles!  All of the students were able to join them at the meet, so it means that we are going somewhere new tomorrow!  We just found out this morning that we are heading to…

Montana Students exposed to new scientific experiences today: 216

Tour-to-Date Total: 2548

“Hands on Health” at Crow Agency

Hello readers!  Sarah and I are back on the road, now at the Crow Reservation.

At Crow Agency, we taught all K-5 students.  They were especially excited about the X-ray table of our “Hands on Health” exhibit.  Many of the students had tales to tell about their own broken bones! If you have not spent time with young elementary students, they love telling stories about themselves or people they know – especially when it involves injuries!

During our Family Science Night we had a group of high school boys show up to play basketball in they gym who were surprised to see their gym occupied with science exhibits!  They got a kick out of the “Giant Nose”, where they have to swab the inside of the nose and look at it under a microscope to diagnose what is wrong.

It looks like there has been a last minute scheduling change to our tour sites.  We will only be in Busby in the Northern Cheyenne Reservation for one day, tomorrow.  Then we will be somewhere different on Thursday.  Stay tuned to find out where!

Thank you to the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation for providing funding for the stops at the Crow and Northern Cheyenne Reservations!


Montana Students exposed to new scientific experiences today: 241

Tour-to-Date Total: 2332

“Hands on Health” in Fort Benton

Last night when we pulled into Fort Benton, our host Anna and her entire family met us at the elementary school.  They helped us empty the contents of our UHaul into the school gym.  With their help we had the “Hands on Health” exhibit set up in record time and we were warmly welcomed into their house.  They had just moved in, and the children were excited to show us around the house – and show off the paint choices they had gotten to choose for their own rooms

These two days have been filled with teaching “Hands on Health” to all the K-8 students from both Fort Benton and Highwood Elementary.  The crowning achievement was the Family Science Night on Wednesday evening.  We had great attendance, and the kids got to show their parents what they had learned during their field trip!  The students become the teacher!  There was also an amazing custodian who kept us company and explored the exhibit with the kids.  He also helped up pack up the exhibit!

Now Sarah and I are taking another break and heading back to Bozeman.  We have now driven the UHaul over 1,600 miles!  Please check in again when we visit the Crow and Northern Cheyenne Reservations in a little over a week!

A huge thanks to Chouteau County PEAK for making this stop possible by providing funding, volunteers, and a homestay!


Montana Students exposed to new scientific experiences today: 317

Tour-to-Date Total: 2091

Back on the road, in Stanford (Montana, not the University)

Hi Readers, this is Erin again!  Sarah and I are back on the road!  This time we have travelled to Stanford (Montana that is).  We were welcomed at the school’s gym by a Zumba class and the Superintendent Nancy.  We are impressed by the community’s devotion to the school!  We set up the “Hands on Health” exhibit, and Nancy took us in search of food (we were so hungry!).  While eating some delicious chicken tenders, we met Kelly.  Both Kelly and Nancy were our hosts in Stanford.  I went back to Kelly’s home, and Sarah went with Nancy.  Home stays really make the tours a special experience.  Thank you Kelly and Nancy for opening up your homes to us!  We really appreciate the hospitality.

The following day we met every student in the Stanford School District.   I am so impressed at the students’ level of scientific knowledge!

We just packed up the UHaul, and now Sarah and I are rolling up the road to Fort Benton.

A big thanks to North Central Montana AHEC for sponsoring our stop in Stanford!


Montana Students exposed to new scientific experiences today: 98

Tour-to-Date Total: 1774

The Jolly Swagman (Poplar MT)

Hello readers!  On Sunday we rolled in to Poplar, MT, our final stop on this nine-day hitch.  Interesting note – traveling from Missoula, MT to Poplar, MT is the equivalent as driving from Missoula to Portland, OR, over 500 miles!  This exhibit is a long way from home!

Fort Peck Reservation

We made the Jolly Swagman our home here in Poplar.  We had a wild adventure last night when we were chased from our first hotel room by a swarm of yellow jackets that seeking warmth from the rain.  But we made it out without being bitten (whew!).

Upon our arrival at Poplar Middle School we were welcomed by a jovial janitor who took the time to explore our “Hands on Health” exhibit.  We love when we can inspire adults!

Monday night was our first Family Science Night.  After the day of field trips, we were open for two hours in the evening for kids to return with their families.  All day students were excited to tell us of their plans to return with their parents.  It was a really fun time, and everyone at the Family Science Night got an extremely personalized tour of the inner workings of a cow eye!  Cool!

Now it is Tuesday evening, and we have left Poplar to head back to our homes in Bozeman.  Gazing out the window at the blue bird skies we watched a tractor pull out onto the highway.  We had left the currently smoke-filled Rockies heading east to the badlands and open plains.  Sarah and I reflected on our travels thus far.  It has been quite an extraordinary experience.  We have put 1,100 miles on the UHaul, and have brought world-class hands-on science experiences to over 1,500 students and teachers.  We have seen beautiful country and met amazing people.  All in just 9 days!  And there is still more to come!  But first, Sarah and I are looking forward to having some time off to rest.

Thank you to the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation for sponsoring our visit to the Fort Peck Reservation!

Until next week…


Montana Students exposed to new scientific experiences today: 478

Tour-to-Date Total: 1676