MISSOULA – The University of Montana spectrUM Discovery Area will join museums and science centers nationwide in celebrating the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” with a day of Frankenstein-themed activities on Thursday, Jan. 18.
From 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at spectrUM Discovery Area, located at 812 Toole Ave., visitors can build a voltaic pile (the first kind of battery), construct a Franken-toy creature using parts from other toys, make an automaton (a moving mechanical device that imitates the movements of a living thing), create a scribbling robot, design a mask that lights up and more.
The activities are part of Frankenstein200, an educational program created by the National Informal Stem Education Network to support scientific learning and inspire conversations around themes found in Shelley’s “Frankenstein,” including creativity, social responsibility and scientific ethics.
The Missoula Public Library will join the event beginning at 3 p.m. with activities and a selection of relevant library books. This collaboration is one of many ways that spectrUM works with community partners toward closing persistent opportunity and achievement gaps.
“We’re delighted to collaborate with like-minded community partners such as the Missoula Public Library as we gear up to come under one roof,” said Holly Truitt, director of spectrUM and the UM Broader Impacts Group. “Events like Frankenstein200 are a great example of how we’re working collectively to inspire our next generation about literacy, science, higher education and the many fulfilling career opportunities here in our community and beyond.”
SpectrUM and the Missoula Public Library are partners on the All Under One Roof project, approved by Missoula voters in 2016, that will open a new library-museum space in the heart of downtown in 2020. SpectrUM’s other community-based, collective-impact initiatives include EmPower Place at the Missoula Food Bank and co-created programming with advisory groups on the Flathead Reservation and in the Bitterroot.
Now in its 10th year, spectrUM Discovery Area is UM’s hands-on science center, serving more than 200,000 Montanans annually through in-museum and statewide mobile programming. SpectrUM is part of UM’s Broader Impacts Group, which harnesses the University’s research and creative scholarship to foster social mobility and a vibrant, homegrown workforce for Montana. BIG and spectrUM are supported by an array of local and national funding sources, including the National Science Foundation, Montana NSF EPSCoR, NASA, the U.S. Department of Education, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Jane S. Heman Foundation and the Martin Family Foundation.
All Frankenstein200 activities are free with admission, which costs $3.50 for everyone ages 4 and over and is free for children 3 and under. As part of the nationwide Museums for All Initiative, spectrUM offers free family memberships to EBT cardholders.
For more information about spectrUM, call Truitt at 406-243-4872 or visit http://spectrum.umt.edu/.