A Whirlwind of Science!

spectrUM’s spring outreach tour was a whirlwind combination of spinning U-Haul tires, eye dissections, school gymnasiums, and hands-on science exploration!

The spring 2013 MosSE tour in numbers:

  • spectrUM drove over 800 miles to bring our Hands on Health exhibit to five communities throughout rural Montana
  • spectrUM’s Hands on Health exhibit visited a total of five counties (Missoula, Ravalli, Meagher, Deer Lodge, and Cascade), two of which spectrUM had never visited before
  • In total, 2056 people explored spectrUM’s hands-on exhibition this spring

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Since the launch of our mobile outreach program in 2006, spectrUM has driven over 21,300 miles to bring educators, exhibitions, and programs to 58 different schools in 23 Montana counties, including all 7 Montana Indian Reservations. All together, our mobile science programs have served over 32,656 people, of whom over 30%  are Native American and 75% from rural communities.

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All Systems GO in Florence

Hello MosSE readers!

What does “All Systems GO!” mean to our  Hands on Health program? For our good friend Ana Body, an anatomically correct model of the body’s internal organs, it means that after three heart-tugging, gut-wrenching days, the students in Florence, MT, have successfully navigated the circulatory, respiratory, and digestive systems and put her back together!

Her heart connects to veins and arteries, ready to circulate blood. The trachea- or windpipe- branches to both lungs, which sit properly  perched on her muscular diaphragm. Ana’s respiratory system is ready to pull in fresh oxygen.  The little surgeons have traced the  path of food through her esophagus, stomach, and intestines.  All are firmly connected and ready to function as our favorite gurgling food processor- the digestive system.

Ana Body having one of those ‘ stomach in your throat’ moments at Florence family science night

Together, these three major systems in our body  utilize around a dozen organs. Most of these organs, at least their names, are part of first grader’s vocabulary,  yet,  without the help of models like Ana, they remain elusive and difficult to conceptualize. We can’t see inside our own skin, after all! With the help of Ana, Florence students gained new appreciation for all they carry with them or, more specifically, inside them, that makes them GO! Exploring the circulatory, respiratory, and digestive systems hands-on helps young minds grasp how every organ,  each with its own specific job, is intimately connected and contained inside their own skin.

Florence elementary students explore ‘their’ insides with the our many hands-on models

Sadly for Ana Body, the only place she’s going is back into storage. Hands on Health is wrapping up its spring tour after Florence. SpectrUm would like to thank the Florence Elementary Principal Chrissy for hosting this last stop. We also enjoyed the chance to add around 60 high school students to our schedule, thanks to Nancy and Lisa, two health and P.E. teachers who thought Hands on Health was so great that they rounded up several study hall classes to visit.

Family science night in Florence was a real cherry on top for this spring. What a joy it is to see kids return to the exhibits with their families! Parents, grandparents, aunties and uncles, and especially little brothers and sisters, are always so impressed by the knowledge the  little scientists demonstrate.

All systems go_family science

Teaching dad the working parts of the eyeball? Priceless !

So how does it feel to wrap up a whirlwind four-week MosSE tour? Big Nose is ready to stop being picked on, but me, I’m a little sorry to pull the storage unit doors shut on this awesome experience. But, where one storage door closes, another one opens! MosSE’s neuroscience exhibit is being loaded up to hit the road soon!  Keep and eye out for  MosSE coming to a gym near you. This stop was made possible with support from the Jane. S. Herman Foundation. A special thanks to them for powering so many hours of  engaged learning and inspiring science this spring.

Viva la Scienca!

All system Go_nose

I need a vacation!
-Big Nose