MISSOULA – Hands on Health, one of the University of Montana spectrUM Discovery Area’s popular traveling exhibitions, will make a stop in Billings Friday and Saturday, April 11-12.
Transforming school gyms into hands-on science museums, Hands on Health features interactive exhibits and demonstrations that explore topics and careers in the health sciences. Highlights include a giant runny nose that children can diagnose, a health assessment station, a life-size medical teaching torso for simulated surgery activities, and guided cow eyeball and heart dissections.
Orchard Elementary School students will experience Hands on Health on Friday, April 11. On Saturday, April 12, spectrUM will bring the exhibition to the MSU-Billings Extended Campus gymnasium for Chicks in Science, a free festival of science activities and demonstrations for girls in fourth through eighth grade. For more information about Chicks in Science, visit http://www.msubillings.edu/chicks/.
The spectrUM Discovery Area travels the state with a mobile science center featuring interactive exhibits. According to spectrUM director Holly Truitt, the goal of spectrUM’s mobile outreach is to “help inspire Montana’s next generation of scientists, health care providers, engineers and visionaries.”
Since 2006, spectrUM has driven more than 22,100 miles to bring educators, exhibitions and programs to 60 different schools in 23 Montana counties, including all seven Montana Indian reservations. All together the mobile science programs have served more than 34,080 people, of whom 30 percent are Native American and 75 percent are from rural communities.
Committed to inspiring a culture of learning and discovery for all, spectrUM Discovery Area is an interactive science center located in the heart of downtown Missoula. Annually, spectrUM serves more than 50,000 Montanans through in-museum and mobile programming.
National sponsors and partners include SciGirls, NISE Network, Western Montana Area Health Education Center 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.
Its Science for All Scholarship Fund has given the gift of science to more than 1,200 Montana children annually. Both of these stops on spectrUM’s mobile science tour are powered by the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation as part of a three-year grant supporting spectrUM’s outreach in Montana’s Bakken region.
SpectrUM’s new downtown museum, located at 218 E. Front St. in Missoula, is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. Admission costs $3.50 per person. Teachers or schools interested in booking a field trip to the spectrUM museum or would like to arrange a stop on spectrUM’s mobile tour can call 406-728-STEM.