MosSE Visits the “Brain-iacs” of Browning

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After a quick switch of exhibits in the U-haul, MosSE headed north to Browning, home of the Browning Indians. Upon arrival, the Browning Middle School gym was transformed into an exciting space of neuroscience exploration! Seven different stations intrigued the minds of many budding scientists. We spent the day investigating the brain with 217 7th and 8th grade students, as well as 11 teachers and volunteers. We dug deep into the different lobes of the brain and what the specific functions are of each. For example, the frontal lobe is located behind our foreheads. Humans tend to have larger frontal lobes than most animals, because this part of the brain processes personality and high level thinking, among other things.

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Students walk through the “Big Sky Big Brain” to discover TBIs

There also different lobes in charge of processing our five main senses: sight, touch, taste, smell and hearing. Participants were able to explore these senses at the “Senses Station.” Can you guess the scent based only on what you smell? Can you use only your sense of touch to identify the toy in the mystery box? Are you a “super taster”? All fun questions to be answered at the station.

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Upside Down Googles

Probably the most visited station was our “Visual Rebound”. And what kid doesn’t want to test their skills and shoot a basketball? Then add vision distortion googles and the fun never ends. Students learn how our brain is so easily tricked, but also how adaptive it is, at this station.

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Score! Even with distorted vision.

Later that evening we were excited to host Family Science Night, when students are invited to come back with family and friends to explore the temporary museum again.  Over 100 people came out to see what the fun was all about. Many of the returning students headed straight for the ever popular “Mind Games” station. Participants focus on moving the ball to their opponents side of the game board using brain power! You can help your friends by quizzing them on math facts or vocabulary words, to get them thinking.

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Who’s got the stronger mind?

Overall we had a great time with the “brainiacs” of Browning! Thank you to the staff and volunteers that made the trip possible. We hope to see you all again! Sincerely, Sarah, & Lizzie

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Anaconda Job Corps Gets the Job Done with “Motion”

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MosSE hit the open road again. This time the “Motion” exhibit made its way to Anaconda and was welcomed by the Anaconda Job Corps. Participants explored eight stations pertaining to different forces of physics. We also brought with us Mickey Lyngholm from Missoula College. She had great information to share with students ready to enter the workforce, as well as opportunities to further their training.

Mickey Lyngholm  of Missoula College,

Mickey Lyngholm of Missoula College, “Rev Up” Outreach

The Job Corps members were able to see first hand the wonders of physics! For example, students tested the four forces of aerodynamics through spectrUM’s “Flight Simulator” and also had the chance to create their own designs for “Flying Cups”. Can you name all four forces? Thrust, drag, gravity, and lift. Another fun one is spin. A crowd favorite was the “Gravity Well”,  where students watched as pennies spun faster and faster down the well. These eager young adults didn’t shy away from the childhood joys of the “Tops Table” either. Spin is just so much fun! Many participants even spun themselves on our “Lazy Susan Spin Station”.  Our Turntable was stationed outside, but around 12pm, it started snowing!  We had to put the Turntable away in the afternoon.

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Despite the weather, participants were thankful for our visit and enjoyed the unique science experience. Through the day 170 students (age 16-24) and 15 instructors explored the temporary science museum set-up in the Job Corps gymnasium. A big thanks to all of the polite volunteers who helped us load up in the snow, we look forward to visiting again! Sincerely, Jessie, Sarah,& Rachael