For those of you who are less familiar with Montana, let’s put the Treasure State in perspective. A big city for Montana has a population of over 50,000. Billings, the largest city in the state, has a population just over 100,000! It was time for MosSE to show the big city what it was made of. We drove across half the state and reached Billings well before sundown. Entering the city, we were greeted by the largest building in all Montana, the First Interstate Tower, at 272 ft. Afraid we might get caught up in the big city commotion, we headed straight to our first destination, Orchard School, and unloaded the Hands on Health exhibits. Next, we took off to the MSU Billings Alumni House, where we were graciously invited to stay the night. Early next morning, it was back over to the school and to prepare for a full day of science fun with the elementary school. We spent the whole day learning and performing interactive science with our Hands on Health exhibits. These exhibits included:
-Giant Nose: a nose so large, no one can resist picking it and identifying the germs in its mucus
-X-Ray Station: a chance to compare different bones of the body, both intact and broken
-Nutrition Station: teaches us about what is in our food and how it affects our bodies
-Health Station: checks blood pressure, blood-oxygen saturation, heart rate, and body temperature before and after physical activity to see how they change
-Germ Station: apply a blacklight detected lotion on the hands, and with a high-five here and a high-five there, watch those germs spread, then wash the hands and check back under the blacklights to see if you washed well enough
-Cow Eye Dissection: the intricate parts of the eye are revealed
By the end of the day we had served 296 kids! Luckily, we had plenty of cow eyes and giant nose simulated mucus to go around for all of them, and Anabody was patient and understanding enough to have her organs removed and inserted over and over again without complaining (a doctor could not ask for a more perfect patient). Not a bad start for our first full day in the big city. Our next destination in Billings: Chicks in Science. We would like to extend a special thanks to Orchard School and the Washington Foundation for powering this event, all the students, staff, and families of Orchard School for participating, and MSU Billings Alumni Relations for housing us in their lovely alumni house.