SpectrUM Pop-Up Museum Offers Activities to Travelers at Missoula Airport

November 24, 2015

MISSOULA – Just in time for the busy holiday travel season, visitors to Missoula’s International Airport will have the chance to experience a hands-on science exhibit.

The exhibit titled “Nano: The Science of Small” is featured within a new pop-up museum space hosted by the University of Montana spectrUM Discovery Area. The pop-up museum recently opened its doors on the second floor of the airport and will offer children of all ages the chance to explore the fascinating world of nanoscale science.

“We are extremely excited about this partnership,” said airport Advertising Manager Amanda Jacobson. “Now, when families are waiting for their flight, they can engage with a top-notch exhibit. The partnership is a win-win.”

“We hope that the next generation can get inspired about science and higher education, and we look for creative opportunities to introduce children to hands-on exploration,” said spectrUM Director Holly Truit. “We’re particularly excited to showcase nanoscience, which is an area that a number of talented UM researchers and students study in order to solve the problems of today.”

The free exhibition includes hands-on, interactive exhibits that invite exploration of nanoscience. It features STEM role model Joanna Kreitinger, a UM doctoral student studying cellular and molecular biology, whose research focuses on how environmental pollutants affect our ability to fight off infections and disease. She regularly uses nanoscience in these efforts. 

“With over 670,000 travelers each year, the Missoula airport is an incredibly important hub for our community,” said UM Assistant Vice President for Marketing Mario Schulzke. “Partnering with the airport on this was a no-brainer. More than ever, there is so much cool science happening at UM and this pop-up museum gives us an opportunity share some of our amazing resources off campus and in a fun way.”

“The exhibit will rotate as time goes on,” said spectrUM STEM Education Manager Jessie Herbert. “There will continually be new and exciting hands-on ways for families to explore as they travel through the Missoula airport.”

“I believe we are the only airport in Montana to have a designated educational family area,” Jacobson said.  

Committed to inspiring a culture of learning and discovery for all, spectrUM is an interactive science center that annually serves more than 50,000 Montanans through in-museum and mobile programming. The airport exhibit marks the museum’s third pop-up museum partnership. The first was hosted at the Missoula Public Library in April 2014 and the second was hosted at the Ravalli County Museum this past summer.

In Missoula, the public can visit spectrUM’s museum at 218 E. Front St. from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Admission costs $3.50 per person.

For more information call Herbert at 406-728-7836 or email jessie.herbert@umontana.edu.

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Contact: Erika Palmer, director, UM Trademarks and Licensing, 406-243-2317, erika.palmer@umontana.edu.