SpectrUM, We Are Montana in the Classroom Travel to Ronan

March 10, 2016

MISSOULA – The University of Montana’s spectrUM Discovery Area and We Are Montana in the Classroom will travel to Ronan on Thursday, March 17. 

SpectrUM’s “Best of Show” exhibit, a collection of its most popular traveling exhibits, will transform the Events Center at Ronan Middle School into a powerful science learning center by featuring hands-on activities exploring neuroscience, health, nanotechnology, physics and engineering. SpectrUM educators also will visit K. William Harvey Elementary School’s third grade classes in the afternoon with “Explore Science Kits,” which show students the wonders of nanoscience. 

Students will be able to share the “Best of Show” exhibition and activities with families, friends and community members at a free Family Science Night from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, March 17, at Ronan Middle School’s Events Center.

Also on March 17, UM’s We Are Montana in the Classroom role models Seth Barnes-Smith and Jim Sears will visit K-12 classrooms in Ronan to lead activities, serve as higher education and career role models and share UM’s research and educational opportunities. Both tour stops are powered by Ronan PTA, K. William Harvey Elementary School and the UM Broader Impacts Group.

SpectrUM is an interactive science center located in the heart of downtown Missoula, committed to inspiring a culture of learning and discovery for all and serving more than 50,000 Montanans annually through its in-museum and mobile programs.

Since 2006, spectrUM has brought interactive exhibits and educators to 73 schools and three public libraries in 30 Montana counties, including all seven American Indian reservations in the state. SpectrUM’s mobile science program has served over 52,000 people, of whom 30 percent are Native American and over 75 percent live in rural communities.

SpectrUM Director Holly Truitt said the goal of spectrUM’s mobile outreach is to “help inspire Montana’s next generation of scientists, health care providers, engineers and visionaries.”

We Are Montana in the Classroom partners with more than 100 UM faculty members, professionals and graduate students to inspire K-12 students about higher education and career pathways. This academic year, the program is on track to reach 10,000 students through statewide tours, local classroom visits and distance-learning experiences.

Both spectrUM and We Are Montana in the Classroom are part of the UM Broader Impacts Group in the Office of Research and Creative Scholarship.

The public can visit spectrUM at 218 E. Front St. in Missoula. Public hours are 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.

To book a school visit with spectrUM or learn more about We Are Montana in the Classroom’s free programming, call STEM Education Program Manager Jessie Herbert at 406-243-4828 or visit http://www.spectrum.umt.edu.

Contact: Jessie Herbert, STEM education program manager, spectrUM Discovery Area, 406-243-4828, jessie.herbert@umontana.edu; Carey Swanberg, dean of students, K. William Harvey Elementary School, carey.swanberg@ronank12.edu.