Ronan Sets MosSE’s Spring Tour in “Motion”

Hi MosSE Readers:

Newton’s First Law tells us that an object in motion tends to remain in motion unless an external force is applied. This principle explains inertia and also momentum. Apply this principle to our spring tour, which kicked off in Ronan March 20th, and MosSE is on a roll that won’t stop anytime soon! We gained incredible momentum when we brought our high-flying and fast-spinning interactive exhibits to over 900 community residents, including the entire K-5  student body at K. William Harvey Elementary School. The response from the students and community in Ronan was outstanding, the support form the school was excellent, and our interactive Motion exhibit ignited excitement and interest in the fields of physics, engineering, and space research.


Wait a minute – space? It’s true! Support from the Montana Space Grant Consortium and the NASA Summer of Innovation Program allowed MosSE to add new hands-on activities to our Motion exhibit and give students in Ronan a taste of rocket science! In space, rockets zoom around with no air to push against or slow them down.  In Ronan, students explored the principles of motion in space, mimicking the explosive power of  rocket thrusters and gliding around in a low friction environment. Who’s up for hover boarding?!

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Students at K. William Harvey explore thrust and the principles of space travel hands-on thanks to support form the Montana Space Grant Consortium

Many thanks to the MSGC for these exciting additions to our Motion exhibit.  Special thanks also to Mark Reiser from UM’s Department of Physics and Astronomy. Mark helped train our outreach educators and spent all day exploring the science behind rocket thrusters with students in Ronan. Third graders at K. William journaled about the  Motion exhibits after visiting MosSE and wrote questions about what they wanted to learn about. Lucky for them, they have a double dose of spectrUM science! The very next week, these third graders will travel to our downtown location in Missoula to participated in our  field trip programs.


Family Science Night brought a packed house to the MosSE Motion exhibit in Ronan

MosSE is an mobile branch of the SpectrUM Discovery Area that visits communities across Montana, helping inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers, and visionaries. Our MosSE Motion exhibition includes a larger-than-life spinning turntable, hover boards, flying cups, and spectrUM’s ever-popular flight simulator. All together, 930 people experienced our Motion exhibit in Ronan. “The activities were perfect; my student were engaged at each station. Thank you for an excellent job!” said one  K. William educator. Families and friends joined in the fun during the school’s Family Science Night. You can read more about this evening event and its importance in the Ronan Community in the Valley Journal at  This stop on spectrUM’s mobile science tour was powered by the K. William Harvey School Parent Teachers Association and the NASA Summer of Innovation Program. Special thanks to K. WIlliam Harvey Elemntary’s Dean of Students, Carey Swanberg, for bringing us to Ronan and coordinating and AMAZING group of volunteers to support our educators! It’s time to keep this momentum going and take MosSE out on the road again! Signing off till next time!