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UM News
March 11, 2013


The University of Montana’s spectrUM Discovery Area will host in-classroom field trips and a Family Science Night in Ronan on Thursday, March 21.

SpectrUM educators will explore “NanoDays” activities in the elementary classrooms, giving children the ultimate hands-on experience. SpectrUM also will take over the William K. Harvey Elementary School gymnasium for a free and open-to-the-public Family Science Night from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. the same day.

Every person measuring at least 500 million nanometers tall (that’s everyone!) can experience hands-on science activities, which will include wheat germ DNA extraction, super expansion gel, polymer chemistry, an interactive game to understand scale and a liquid nitrogen demonstration.

Since 2007, spectrUM has traveled more than 20,500 miles to bring educators, exhibitions, and programs to 53 different schools in 23 Montana counties, including all seven Montana Indian reservations.

“We travel hands-on science around the state transforming gymnasiums and cafeterias into powerful science learning centers that help inspire Montana’s next generation of scientists, engineers and visionaries,” said spectrUM Director Holly Truitt.

Committed to inspiring a culture of learning and discovery for all, the spectrUM Discovery Area is an interactive science center located in the Skaggs Building on The University of Montana campus that annually serves 39,000 visitors through in-museum and mobile programming. National sponsors and partners include SciGirls, NISE Network, AHEC, and the Noyce Foundation.

SpectrUM is supported by an array of funding sources including the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation EPSCoR Program, and its Science For All Scholarship Fund has given the gift of science to more than 1,500 Montana children.

SpectrUM Discovery Area in Missoula is located in Skaggs Building Room 166. It’s open to the public Thursdays from 3:30 to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission is $3.50 per person.

Teachers who would like to arrange class field trips to spectrUM, which cost $3.50 per student, can call 406-243-4828. To arrange for spectrUM to visit a school or organization, go to or call 406-243-4828.

The Ronan Parent-Teacher Association and spectrUM’s Science for All Scholarship Fund is sponsoring spectrUM’s March 21 visit to Ronan.



Local, Lake County Leader, Valley Journal


Contact: Holly Truitt, director, spectrUM Discovery Area, 406-243-4872,; Hannah Motl, outreach coordinator, spectrUM Discovery Area, 406-243-4828,