Fall Outreach Tour in a Nutshell

spectrUM’s fall outreach tour was a humdinger!  Our Brain and Hands on Health exhibits were carted, literally, all over this giant state.

The fall MosSE tour in numbers:

  • 13 Montana communities were visited
  • This included 5 Montana Indian reservations
  • Over 3,000 miles were added to the ol’  UHaul odometer
  • In total 3,638 people were served

Since the beginning of our mobile outreach program in 2006, spectrUM has driven over 20,500 miles to bring educators, exhibitions, and programs to  53 different schools in 23 Montana counties, including all 7 Montana Indian Reservations. All together our mobile science programs have served over 30, 600 people, of which over 30%  have been Native American and 75% from rural communities.


The end of the road: Corvallis!

We reached, Corvallis, the final stop in our fall MosSE tour, early on Monday morning to unload the exhibit. Unloading was a bit of a challenge since there was ice on the ground and the room we were scheduled to be in was on the second floor of the high school. Luckily, spectrUM outreach educators are  also incredibly thrifty movers and we had the whole exhibit set-up within an hour, even with the delays.

Our first two days in Corvallis were spent with the high school students. Many of the students were from biology and anatomy classes, so it was fun to see how much knowledge they already had about the human body. However, our X-ray table seemed to have a funny effect on a few of the high schoolers. During our field trips one high schooler passed out and another one threw up. Yikes! We’re not sure if something was going around the school or if hearing about broken bones was just too much for them, but we hope they’re feeling better!

The final day in Corvallis was spent with 5th-7th graders. Due to it being early out that day, we had a jam-packed schedule to get all the students through the exhibit. We were visited by a reporter from the local newspaper, the Ravalli Republic, and students were featured in the newspaper the following day:

Feature photo in the Ravalli Republic by staff photographer David Erickson

We hosted a Family Science Night on the evening of our final day in Corvallis. It was the same night as parent teacher conferences,  so we had a nice steady trickle of parents and students throughout the night.

Family Science Night X-ray Exploration

We loaded up the exhibit for the final time that night and gave ourselves a big pat on the back for the end of an incredible fall outreach tour.

Special thanks to Jason, the High School Principal, for hosting spectrUM this week and to the kind custodian who assisted us with moving x-ray table up and down the stairs. Also, thank you to our local health role model, Beth from Rocky Mountain Labs, who came and shared with the students about her research.  This stop was powered by the Jane S. Heman Foundation.

Students exposed to new scientific experiences in Corvallis: 502

Tour-to-Date Total: 3638

Hands on Health in Stevensville

Greetings blog readers!

After covering over 2500 miles in the past month, the spectrUM UHaul finally made it’s way back to Missoula. However, the UHaul only had a brief break before it was once again back on the road. This week we brought our Hands on Health exhibit to Stevensville for three jam-packed days of science exploration. We set up the exhibit in the lobby of the new 4-8 building, which was just completed last year, and is absolutely beautiful.

We spent our first two days in Stevensville seeing all the elementary students. This was challenging for the older kids since they had to walk by our exhibit between every class and see all the fun stuff that was going on. The middle school students finally got to come explore with us on the third day, which was a blast after so much build-up.  Favorite stations of the week included the cow eye dissection table and  “The Case of the Giant Sniffle”  station, which can only be solved by picking our giant nose and looking at a sample from the nose under a microscope.

spectrUM educator, Seth, dissecting a cow eyeball

On our third night in Stevensville we hosted a Family Science Night where the students brought their parents to school  for a night of family science exploration. As always, Anabody, our surgery model was a hit as children and parents learned about human organs through a simulated surgery.

Simulated surgery with Anabody

After the Family Science Night we loaded the exhibit back into the UHaul with snow falling all around us. Winter, as usual, has made an early appearance in Montana. Hopefully the weather won’t be an issue next week when we bring our exhibit to Corvallis!

All in all, our week in Stevensville went far too fast and we were left wishing we had more time at this lovely school. Thanks to Jackie, the Elementary School Principal, for be such a wonderful host and also a big thanks to the front office woman who so graciously tolerated all the noise in her office for three days. All of spectrUM’s visits to the Bitterroot schools are powered by the Jane S. Heman Foundation. Without their generous support, these tours would not be possible.

Montana students exposed to new science experiences in Stevensville: 471

Tour-to-Date Total: 3136