SpectrUM, Darby Community Library Kick Off Summer of Science

May 20, 2016

DARBY – As part of the kickoff for the Darby Community Public Library Summer Reading Program, “Ready, Set, Read,” community members of all ages are invited to celebrate the grand opening of the University of Montana spectrUM Discovery Area’s “Nano: The Science of Small” exhibit from 4 to 5 p.m. Tuesday, May 31, at the Darby Community Library.

“Nano” engages visitors with hands-on enrichment and career opportunities in nanoscience, the study of structures and materials on the scale of nanometers. The grand-opening celebration will feature a liquid nitrogen ice cream bar, hands-on activities and 3-D printing.

The exhibit opening marks the second year of spectrUM’s collaborative, three-year initiative to foster a robust science, technology, engineering and math – or STEM – learning ecosystem in the Bitterroot Valley. Funded by the Jane S. Heman Foundation, the initiative will bring Summer of Science events to Bitterroot Valley communities through 2017.

“We’re honored to have this opportunity to collaborate and co-create with our partners in the Bitterroot as part of our ongoing efforts to close opportunity and achievement gaps in STEM and higher education for Montana’s next generation,” said spectrUM Director Holly Truitt.

In recognition of its innovative, community-based approach to STEM engagement, spectrUM has garnered national awards from Simons Foundation and the Coalition for the Public Understanding of Science, as well as through the Noyce Foundation’s Bright Lights Community Engagement awards competition.

This year’s Summer of Science events at the Darby Community Library include:

  • Science Tuesdays: Every Tuesday from 1 to 2 p.m., May 31 to Aug. 2, children and families are invited to roll up their sleeves and engage in guided science activities, with rotating weekly themes including slime, neuroscience, stomp rockets, dissections, liquid nitrogen and many more. 
  • Free Field Trips: During the month of May, students from Darby Public School are exploring the “Nano” exhibit through guided field trips.
  • Evening Lecture: Geared toward high-school and adult community members, the June 22 free lecture will feature UM graduate students Kevin Trout and Forrest Jessop, who will present “Nanomaterials and Health.” The lecture will begin at 6 p.m.

During the academic year, the initiative will continue bringing spectrUM’s mobile science exhibits to K-12 schools throughout the Bitterroot Valley. All Summer of Science events are free and open to the public.

The public can visit the “Nano” exhibit at the Darby Community Library from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesdays, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays, and from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays. The library is located at 101 ½ S. Marshall St.


Contact: Hannah Motl Gimpel, spectrUM Discovery Area associate director, 406-459-2447, hannah.gimpel@mso.umt.edu; Wendy Campbell, library director, 406-821-3964, librarian@darbylibrary.net.