MISSOULA – “Water,” the University of Montana spectrUM Discovery Area’s newest traveling exhibition, will premiere in Lolo Tuesday through Thursday, Jan. 31-Feb. 2.
Created with researchers from the Montana Institute on Ecosystems, “Water” features interactive exhibits and hands-on activities exploring ecosystems science. Highlights of the exhibition include a virtual watershed sandbox, a groundwater model and spectrUM’s popular erosion table.
The exhibition is funded by the Montana National Science Foundation EPSCoR program, with additional funding from the Clark Fork Coalition. The Lolo tour stop is powered by the Jane S. Heman Foundation.
Lolo students will experience guided field trips of “Water” during the school day while the exhibition is in town. Families and friends also are invited to attend a free Family Science Night from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 2, at Lolo Middle School Gymnasium (Building 4).
The spectrUM Discovery Area’s mobile science program travels statewide with hands-on science exhibits and activities guided by museum educators. According to spectrUM Director Holly Truitt, the goal of spectrUM’s mobile engagement is “to inspire Montana’s next generation about STEM and higher education and to help power a vibrant, homegrown workforce in our state.”
Inspiring a culture of learning and discovery for all, UM’s spectrUM Discovery Area serves more than 55,000 Montanans annually through in-museum and mobile programs. Since 2006, spectrUM has traveled exhibits and educators to 73 schools and four public libraries in 31 Montana counties, including all seven American Indian reservations in Montana. In total, spectrUM’s mobile science program has served more than 52,000 people. Thirty percent of people spectrUM serves are Native American, and more than 75 percent live in rural communities.
Additional spectrUM sponsors include the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, NASA, the Martin Family Foundation, the Montana Space Grant Consortium, the Simons Foundation, the Bonneville Power Administration, GSK-Science in the Summer and the O.P. and W.E. Edwards Foundation.