special events

2016

In Museum

June 16- August 11, 2016: The Brain Crew spent Thursdays from 11-1pm at the Missoula Public Library bringing brain-related science activities to the Missoula Public Library's feeding site lunch program for kids 18 and under. We had a great crop of high school and college student volunteers that helped make this program a success enabling us to reach over 350 people.

June 13, 2016: Dr. Amanda Duley and explainer Landon Heaton made our way over to the YETI camp on UM's Campus to teach 8-10 year old kids all about their brains.  We ended up staying an extra hour since the kids were having so much fun playing with all the brain-learning stations we brought along. To learn more about the YETI Youth Engagment Through Intervention, read YETI.

March 17, 2016: Dr. Amanda Duley guest lectured for Learning Strategies Class for the Trio program. The Trio students had great questions for Dr. Amanda and we had so much fun that we barely had time to do a brain dissection. To learn more about the Trio program, read UM Trio.

March 14-24, 2016: It's Brain Awareness Week! Classes from all over Montana learned about dinosaur brains, concussions, language and developing brains from UM role models through computer distance learning classrooms with Inspired Classroom. Classes were also sent these fun videos Brain Game 1, Brain Game 2, Brain Game 3, Brain Game 4 and Brain Game 5 with Dr. Amanda to learn a new brain activity every day of the week to celebrate that wonderful organ sitting on your shoulders.

Cathy teaching using green screen

Dr. Cathy Off of UM's Big Sky Aphasia Program is teaching kids in different classrooms all about their brains using playdough.

March 17, 2016: We hosted Brain Awareness Week at the Missoula Public Library in the kids section. “Sounds and Brains” with Maggie Colstad and Dr. Cathy Off in the Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders engaged visitors in understanding how our brains use language and sound to create meaning; and Jenny Lind in the Center for Structural and Functional Neuroscience challenged visitors with “Brain Games” activities that show how our brains perceive and derive meaning from our world.
dr. Cathy Off teaching a girl and her dad about the brain using playdough
Dr. Cathy Off teaching a girl and her Dad all about the brain.

March 16, 2016: Visitors to the library for Brain Awareness Week learned about Dinosaur Brains” with UM Paleontology Center curator Kallie Moore, who will share dinosaur artifacts from UM’s collections and discussed with visitors how the T-Rex brain is helping scientists in their research today.  Visitors also learned about “Memories” with Michael Kavanaugh director of UM’s Center for Structural and Functional Neuroscience, who tested visitor’s memories and talked about the latest research on memory and how we can protect our brain’s ability to remember.

Dr. Mike with his computer teaching kids about memory

Dr. Mike Kavanaugh teaching kids about how their brain can remember things.

March 15, 2016: We hosted Brain Awareness Week at the Missoula Public Library in the kids section. Kids learned about “Brains and Robots” with Rachel Severson, assistant professor of development psychology, who shared with visitors the robot that she uses to study how children think about technology as having thoughts, emotions, and the capacity for friendship.

Dr. Rachel talking with a family as they play with her robot

Dr. Rachel Severson showing the family her robot, Pleo, while talking about kid's brains!

February 27, 2016: We hosted our 2nd annual UM Brain Bee Competition. Participants heard about neurofedback from Dr. Robert Velin, toured neuroscience research labs and heard about the UM college experience as well as participating in a competition.

all competitors and judges and coordinators Brain Bee 2016

2016 Brain Bee participants, judges and coordinators.

January 26, 2016: Montana high school students have been attending weekly Brain Training Sessions with Dr. Amanda Duley in prepartion for the UM Brain Bee competition that will take place on Saturday February 27, 2016.

Joyce looking at slides of brain tissues on microscope

Brain Bee competitor looking at brain slices on microscope.

From the road

June 14, 2016:  Dr. Amanda Duley loaded up her brains and traveled to Darby, MT for their Summer of Science at the Darby Public Library.  60+ visitors got to hang out with her and test her memory as well as their own.  They challenged their perceptions by trying to play the operation game through a mirror image and tested their genetics with taste and smells.

April 23, 2016: Expanding Your Horizons a STEM workshop for middle school girls where they learned about neuroscience and performed brain dissections and watched their own brainwaves all presented by CSFN graduate student Genevieve Lind. This is her 3rd year teaching this section.

April 4-7, 2016: CSFN graduate student Genevieve "Jenny" Lind traveled with We Are Montana In The Classroom for their Health and Medicine Tour sharing our brain collection with kids in Great Falls, Poplar, Malta and Harlem, Montana.

Jenny Lind testing students ability to handle an the upside down world.

Jenny Lind helping students brains adapt to an upside down world!

February 17, 2016: Dr. Amanda Duley traveled to Troy, MT with spectrUM's traveling Brain Exhibit.  She also visited science classes in Troy's high school and elementary school along with other role models from UM's We Are Montana in the Classroom.

Traveling science logo

To learn more about our traveling exhibits and to book a visit for your school today, read Montana spectrUM science experiences.

This spring, the Brain Exhibit traveled to Troy, Ronan, Anaconda, Browning, Havre, Rocky Boy, and Clinton Montana. Way to go MosSE organizers and educators!

2015

In Museum

December 31, 2015. We participated in Missoula's First Night for 345 adults and kids of all ages.  Visitors tested their memories and common sense with our Brain Game activities at the Brain Lab and then they explored their proprioception sense, eyesight, taste and hearing with Dr. Amanda Duley at a side table. 

girl shining light into eye to see her retinal arteries

Future scientist shining light in her eye to see her retinal arteries.

December 10, 2015. Community Medical Center and the Barrett Family sponsored a FREE admission day for 147 guests. We made festive synaptic snowglobes with neurotransmitter glitter.

December 5, 2015. Missoula's Parade of Lights celebration comes to spectrUM each year. This year 365 guests visited us to make pipecleaner neurons. There will be lots of holiday trees decorated with neuron ornaments this year.

November 13, 2015. Another FREE admission day for 207 guests thanks to our community. We blew away their minds with our Brain Game activities.

October 15, 2015. We had a science packed, fun filled NO SCHOOL and FREE day part of the Community Medical Center’s Random Act of Community Days program that provides free admission for our community. 238 guests explored our glowing cells activity to learn how and why scientists make cells and brains glow or fluoresce.

kids and adults in front of the EEG and bean bag toss activities

Public in the BrainZone on No-School Free Admission day.

October 7, 2015. High school explainer, Molly Kauffman, entered the global competition the Breakthrough Junior Challenge and submitted this video on explaining how your brain cells send electrochemical messages.

September 11, 2015. We had 80 guests to the BrainZone at spectrUM Discovery Area to dissect cow eyeballs as part of the Community Medical Center’s Random Act of Community Days program that provides free admission for our community.

August 28, 2015. 179 visitors explored optics as part of the Community Medical Center’s Random Act of Community Days program that provides free admission for our community.

August 3-5, 2015. This August, 13 kids dared to enter our first ever Zombie Brains camp. Kids ages 8-12 learned how a zombie brain would be different from ours and they put themselves in a zombie's shoes experiencing altered perceptions of sight, touch, speaking and hearing.

Kids dressed up as Zombies with arms out in frontKids around a table putting together a neuron puzzle

Kids at Zombie Camp dressed up and acting like Zombies but also acting like normal kids putting together a neuron puzzle.

July 17, 2015. We had 220 guests to the BrainZone at spectrUM Discovery Area to explore electricity in their brains as part of the Community Medical Center’s Random Act of Community Days program that provides free admission for our community.

July 7, 2015.  UM Assistant Professor, Dr. Sarah Certel, visited with our high school explainers and Brain Education Team to teach them about how genetically similar humans are to fruit flies. One of her studies looks at genetics of aggression in fruit flies to better understand why aggressive behaviors arise in certain neurological disorders like Alzheimers Disease.

Dr. Sarah Certel teaching BrainZone interns about fruit fly behaviors

Dr. Sarah Certel teaching high school explainers about aggression and courtship in fruit flies.

June 29, 2015. Our STEM role model, Dr. Amanda Duley, visited spectrUM’s popular CSI Camp. She explored DNA with 15 kids ages 8-12 and they all learned that A pairs with T and G pairs with C as they constructed their own strand of DNA using candy and the genetic code for 1 gene responsible for eye color.

June 25, 2015. 301 guests to the BrainZone at spectrUM Discovery Area explored their sense of taste as part of the Community Medical Center’s Random Act of Community Days program that provides free admission for our community. 

Museum visitors doing activity at the BrainLab with 2 high school students.

BrainZone high school interns helping guests test their tastebuds.

June 22, 2015. Our BrainZone High school interns explored the Payne Native American Center and biological research laboratories on the UM campus to not only accrue stories to share with museum guests but to learn about the power of stories in teaching lessons in life and lessons about the brain.  These students are participating in the Intersections program.

High school students seated at a table looking at 3 brain images on a large screen.

Field trip for our High School BrainZone Interns at the UM. Yes, we are all wearing matching scrub shirts provided by AHEC (Area Health Education Center ) which helped organize our field trip with the goal of connecting students to careers. To learn more about the Western Montana AHEC visit their website AHEC.

May 30, 2015. We hosted a social for all 22 high school students that applied to our internship explainer program for the BrainZone. They were able to meet Dr. Amanda Duley and Dr. Michael Kavanaugh, hear about the project, learn the neuroscience exhibits and then participate in our hands-on circuit activity.

May 7, 2015. We hosted a social for 18 Montana high school teachers participating in Project Lead The Way to meet faculty at the University of Montana to increase relationships between UM faculty and MT high school teachers.

MT High School Teachers and UM faculty gather at the BrainLab to do taste experiments with the worms using pipettes and microscopes.

MT High School Teachers and UM faculty gather at the BrainLab to do taste experiments with the worms using pipettes and microscopes.

April 15 - 16, 2015. Dr. Amanda Duley guest lectured for two Learning Strategies Classes for the Trio program. The Trio students made neurons, dissected sheep brains and learned about genetics and their senses. To learn more about the Trio program, read UM Trio. 

Dr. Amanda Duley and Trio students examining our brain collection in a UM classroom.

Dr. Amanda Duley and Trio students examining our brain collection.

February 21, 2015. We hosted our first annual UM Brain Bee. 17 local high school students participated in a fun competition about the brain where they received some cool prizes like Missoula Downtown gift cards, books about neuroscience, a UM chair and the winner received a scholarship to the National Brain Bee. The Brain Bee Competition for high school students is designed to inspire students to learn more about the brain and to pursue health-neuroscience related careers. To learn more about the UM Brain Bee read “UM Brain Bee.”

High school students holding clipboards and writing while examing brain models.

Brain Bee competitors during the laboratory test.

February 19, 2015. Leadership Missoula Chamber of Commerce Meeting where Jessie Herbert and Dr. Amanda Duley lectured 40+ Missoula business leaders about emotional brain changes and learning and memory. We also gave them a tour of the neuroscience laboratories and provided hands-on activities including brain dissections.

Jan 6 - Feb 3, 2015. We held 5 Brain Training Sessions for local high school students participating in the UM Brain Bee. The Brain Bee is a fun competition where student’s knowledge of the brain is tested. The winner receives a scholarship to the National Brain Bee usually located on the east coast. The competition is designed to inspire students to learn more about the brain and to pursue health-neuroscience related careers. To learn more about the UM Brain Bee, visit our website UM Brain Bee and read our training sessions blog entry.

2 male and 2 female high school students learning about the cerebellum from a UM staff volunteer during brain training sessions for the UM Brain Bee.

High school students learning about the cerebellum from a UM laboratory technician volunteer during brain training sessions for the UM Brain Bee.

Field Trips

For the 2014-2015 school year, we had 2,220 visitors to the BrainZone field trip, with 65 preK, 1390 K-5th grade, 480 middle school students, and 290 high school students from the Missoula Valley and surrounding communities, including Browning on the Blackfeet Reservation, and Arlee, Superior, Ronan, Polson, and St. Ignatius on the Flathead Reservation. A portion of these field trips served at-risk youth from organizations like the Watson Children’s Shelter, The Boys and Girls Club of Missoula and YMCA.

8th grade students gathered around a sheep brain, performing a dissection.

Brain dissection during a field trip to the BrainZone.

From the road

September 24, 2015. High school explainer, Sydney Driver, took eyes and brains to school and performed dissections with 2 classes reaching 43 Sentinel High School students.

August 15, 2015. The Big Sky Brain Project and spectrUM hit the Western Montana County Fair bringing cow eye dissections and sheep brain dissections.  Smoke from the forest fires didn’t keep our amazing education team from interacting with 600 people.

July 3, 2015. Lizzie Catudio-Garrett and explainer Sophie Moon lead brain-related experiments at The Science Learning Tent at the Arlee Celebration as part of SciNation.

Native girl in regala looking through microscope

June 25, 2015. Dr. Amanda Duley and explainer Sydney Driver headed to Ronan to teach 2 middle school camps about the brain as part of the SciBytes for SciNation program. We made neurons, talked about ebola (both classes asked about it!) and then we did sheep brain dissections.

June 19 - 23, 2015. Dr. Michael Kavanaugh traveled to Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, to do experiments with researchers there studying nervous systems of invertebrates like crayfish. Another invertebrate organism widely used in neuroscience research is the fruit fly. Dr. Kavanaugh worked with a new strain of fruit flies developed at MIT that have neurons activated by red light. He brought some of these back to the University of Montana and they will be making special appearances at the Brain Zone soon!

Dr. Mike Kavanaugh holding a crawfish.

Dr. Mike Kavanaugh holding his new research buddy crayfish.

May 8, 2015. We traveled to Hellgate Elementary to dissect sheep brains and cow eyes with 9-10 year olds with the Talented and Gifted Program.

April 25, 2015. Expanding Your Horizons a STEM workshop for middle school girls where they learned about neuroscience and performed brain dissections and watched their own brainwaves all presented by CSFN graduate student Genevieve Lind. This is her 2nd year voluntarily teaching this section.

March 14, 2015. Kids Fair at Southgate Mall where over 400 kids participated in plasticity experiments with upside-down goggles and visited our ginormous inflatable Big Brain, learning about it’s traumatic brain injuries from our high school and college interns.

Huge inflatable brain with 2 kids waiting to walk through.

Our ginormous inflatable brain.

February, 2015. Jessie Herbert and Dr. Amanda Duley visited the Lewis and Clark afterschool Neuroscience Club on 3 different occasions to encourage 8-10 year olds to test how their brains work as part of an after school educational program.

February 3, 2015. Dr. Amanda Duley traveled to Hellgate Elementary to study senses in worms (nematodes called C. elegans) that we house in our BrainLab.  9-10 year olds with the Talented and Gifted Program tested the worms to see if they could respond to light, music, smells and tastes.

C. elegans or nematodes with fluorescent green glowing dopamine neurons image from microscope.

C. elegans from the BrainLab. Scientists made their dopamine neurons or nervous system cells fluoresce or glow green by giving them a green glowing gene (called GFP) from jellyfish.

January 28, 2015. Dr. Amanda Duley represented the Big Sky Brain Project and presented a poster at the Winter Conference on Brain Research.  This is a great conference that also performs outreach to local high schools at the location of the conference. We provided brains and EEG headsets for international researchers to talk with Bozeman high school students about their neuroscience research. To learn more, read our blog posting Outreach in Bozeman, MT.

Traveling science logo

To learn more about our traveling exhibits and to book a visit for your school today, read Montana spectrUM science experiences.

April 18, 2015. Browning, MT where the Browning Middle School gym was transformed into an exciting space of neuroscience exploration for 217 7th and 8th grade students. To learn more, read our blog posting Brain-iacs of Browning.

March 23, 2015. Part of our traveling brain exhibit was featured in the Best of Show traveling exhibition in Ronan, MT.  We set up 14 exhibits in the Ronan Events Center reaching over 700 kids from 4 different schools. To learn more, read our blog posting Best in Show.

March 18, 2015. Blackfoot Valley, MT in the Potomac Pioneers’ gym, fittingly during Brain Awareness Week. To learn more, read our blog posting Brain in the Blackfoot Valley to Potomac.
class sitting in the gym in Potomac, MT learning about the colossal brain with the giant, inflatable walk-thru brain in the background

Class sitting in the gym in Potomac, MT learning about the colossal brain with the giant, inflatable walk-thru brain in the background.

February 24, 2015: Hot Springs, MT with special guest role model Dr. Amanda Duley .  To learn more, read our blog posting Soaking in some Brain Science in Hot Springs.

2014



In Museum

December 31, 2014. We hosted free activities for the community as part of Missoula’s largest performing arts festival called First Night Celebration. We played Brain Games and performed taste preference tests on humans and fruit flies with over 500 museum guests. 

5 kids watching their fruit flies after setting up a 2 choice taste preference test at First Night Celebration at spectrUM.

Kids watching their fruit flies after setting up a 2 choice taste preference test at First Night Celebration at spectrUM.

December 29, 2014. Cortex Academy Camp, 12 kids from 8-12yrs old spent the entire day challenging their brain with brain games and making new neuronal connections.

December 6, 2014. We hosted free activities for the community for the Missoula Downtown Association’s Parade of Lights celebration. In the BrainLab, we made pipecleaner neurons with 172 museum guests. To learn more about the Parade of Lights visit their website Parade of Lights.

Museum guests at the Parade of Lights in the neuroliving room.

Museum guests at the Parade of Lights.

November 12 - 13, 2014. Dr. Amanda Duley guest lectured for two Learning Strategies Classes for the Trio program at the University of Montana. The Trio students made neurons, dissected sheep brains and learned about genetics and their senses. Read our blog to learn more about her visits to the class. To learn more about the Trio program, read UM Trio. 

Dr. Amanda Duley teaching Trio Students about their brains.

Dr. Amanda Duley teaching Trio Students about their brains.

November 9, 2014. We hosted a training day for our education team including our high school and undergraduate interns.  We learned about our “expert blind spots” and how to convey information by only asking questions and not making statements. We also role played as museum guests and evaluators while different members of the team taught each other BrainLab activities.

August 4 - 6 2014. Amazing Brain Summer Camp, 10 kids 8-12yrs old learned more than they ever thought was possible about their brain, their senses, worm and fly senses, glowing molecules and DNA.  Led by Dr. Amanda Duley and the Big Sky Brain project’s undergraduate and high school interns.

2 boys and 1 girl viewing the bee’s brain at our summer brain camp at the BrainLab.

Kids viewing the bee’s brain at our summer brain camp at the BrainLab.

June 10, 2014.  First day of training for our new BrainZone high school interns for Summer 2014.  We had 20 applicants from 5 different Missoula High Schools. Students submit resumes and cover letters to be considered for the position. We picked 10 to interview and hired 4 new explainers for the summer: Ian, Yesenia, Lizzie and Miriya. We started the night by making some neurons, having the neurons “communicate” with one another and we talked about how our brains learn and what it means to remember things at the molecular level.  To learn more, read our blog posting New Highschool Intern Explainers

Dr. Sarah Certel and BrainZone interns make neurons out of pipecleaners.

Dr. Sarah Certel and BrainZone interns make neurons out of pipecleaners.

April 19, 2014. Expanding Your Horizons a STEM workshop for middle school girls where they learned about neuroscience and performed brain dissections and watched their own brainwaves all presented by CSFN graduate student Genevieve Lind.

March 7-15 2014. Brain Awareness Week at spectrUM. The museum was decked out in pipe cleaner neurons and brain artwork all done by our museum guests the week prior to Brain Awareness Week. Throughout the week, we had 755 people visit the museum and we had double the daily neuroscience activities at both the BrainLab and the Discovery Bench.

Museum guest making artwork inspired by our dinosaur optical illusion.

Museum guest making artwork inspired by our dinosaur optical illusion.

March 7, 2014. First Friday Brain Awareness Week Kickoff. The Big Sky Brain Project sponsored the free admission First Friday event for 149 guests and provided food that excited all tastebud receptors. We also had taste tests to trick your tastebuds.  University of Montana neuroscientist Dr. Michael Kavanaugh gave a quick talk, and you could make and take home your very own LED Neuron or brain cell bracelet.

child doing perception taste test at the BrainLab with colled educator during our First Friday event.

Do red gummy bears really taste different from green ones? Perception taste test at the BrainLab during our First Friday event.

February 14, 2014. We developed a special activity just for this lovely day that we called Your Brain in Love. We provided chocolate to 83 museum guests and we tested their perception of the chocolate.

Field Trips

In September of 2014 we continued spectrUM's K-12 field trip visits to the BrainZone and its BrainLab. Since March, 2014 we have had 1,300 visitors to the BrainZone field trip, with 65 preK, 1070 K-5th grade, 140 middle school students, and 25 high school students from the Missoula Valley and surrounding communities, including Browning on the Blackfeet Reservation, and Arlee, Superior, Ronan, Polson, and St. Ignatius on the Flathead Reservation. We project to serve an additional 1,000 students in April-July of 2015.

3 boys holding pipets in front of a microscope

8th grade field trip performing taste tests with our resident nematodes called C. elegans. This is also known as a chemotaxis experiment.

From the road

Mobile Science logo

To learn more about our traveling exhibits and to book a visit for your school today, read Montana spectrUM science experiences.

October 25, 2014. Glendive, MT. To wrap up our fall MosSE tour we spent three days helping over 500 students explore the many wonders of the most complex organ in our body in the eastern reaches of our great state in the Montana badlands. “This was awesome!,” “Please come back next year,” and “Can we come back?” were frequently heard in the gym as students filed out after their field trips. To learn more, read our blog posting Brain in Glendive

A small scientist trying to keep her finger between the two lines of the star as she traces it while only looking at the reflection in the mirror.

A small scientist from Glendive trying to keep her finger between the two lines of the star as she traces it while only looking at the reflection in the mirror.

October 13, 2014. Terry, MT. 143 Terry students experienced “Brain.” Family science night was also a huge success, with 90 children and their family members showing up to play and learn about neuroscience on an eventful Thursday night of Homecoming Week. This tour stop was powered by the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation.To learn more, read our blog posting Terr-ific time in Terry.

October 6, 2014. Culbertson, MT. A small town of 1000 on the border with North Dakota, but it has a big spirit. We saw the entire school, 255 students in all, from the exuberant kindergarteners to the bright high school seniors. To learn more, read our blog posting Kickin up our heels with Cowboys and Cowgirls of Culbertson.

July 3-5 2014. Arlee Powwow Celebration.  We spent 2 days at the Arlee Powwow taking our glowing or fluorescing brain fruit flies, senses and upside-down goggles. To learn more about our outreach and national recognition for this event, read our blog posting Arlee Powwow

1 girl at the Arlee Pow wow viewing glowing or fluorescing fruit flies under the microscope.

Future scientist at the Arlee Powwow Celebration viewing glowing or fluorescing fruit flies under the microscope.

May 22, 2014. Seeley, MT for Seeley Lake Discovery Days. The Discovery Days’ theme this year was plasticity and boy, did we ever have some fun activities to share around this theme. Neuroplasticity refers to how –and in what ways–the brain changes over the course of a lifetime. To learn more, read our blog posting Seeley Lake Discovery Days.

May 19, 2014. Florence, MT. This was the Giant Brain’s official debut. And what a debut it was! We spent a total of three days in Florence, with a Family Science Night to top it off. A total of 582 people came through and participated. To learn more, read our blog posting Back to the Bitterroot

Student wearing headset to play Mindflex Duel: the force is strong with this one!

Florence student playing Mindflex Duel using brain waves generated from the electrical signals in her brain: the force is strong with this one!

April 22, 2014: Fort Benton, MT.  We spent two full days in one of the oldest settlements in the American West, and the fun never stopped. We served a total of 370 people, including K-8 of To learn more, read our blog posting I Spy the Missouri.

girl wearing EEG headsets and viewing her brain waves on the iPad

A budding scientist wearing EEG headsets and viewing her brain waves on the iPad in Fort Benton, MT.

April 8, 2014. Anaconda, MT. We visited with students at the Job Corps, we had the chance to test out the exhibits on older students and employees from their teens all the way up their mid 20’s. they had their own wonderful and adventurous insights and experiences to share with us. To learn more, read our blog posting Brain Spotted in Anaconda.

April 3, 2014. Bozeman, MT. A total of 333 students took part in hands-on-science.   On top of an excellent full day of neuroscience with all the students, we had an outstanding Family Science Night. To learn more, read our blog posting MosSe strolls into Bozeman. 

Kids sitting in front of table while educator shows them a sheep brain

Sheep brain dissection exploration in Bozeman, MT.

March 10-15 2014. Brain Awareness Week outreach to middle school students. UM Neuroscience staff and graduate students packed up our brain collection, sheep brains for dissection, and plasticity experiments and headed to the local Missoula Middle school where they visited classes for 5 days reaching over 300 students.

March 25-27, 2014. Lolo, MT. If you are reading this, then be sure to thank your brain. All of these seemingly simple things require having a brain that could out-perform any supercomputer on the planet. And for four days, MosSE had the wonderful opportunity to bring hands-on science exhibits about the brain to Lolo and show all the K-8 students just how special that organ in their head is! To learn more, read our blog posting Lolo on my Brain

Kids sitting in front of educator and all have their hands on their heads learning about the parietal lobe.

Students touching the part of their "brain" that is responsible for the sense of touch in Lolo, MT.

 

2013



In Museum

December 31, 2013. We hosted free activities for the community as part of Missoula’s largest performing arts festival called First Night Celebration. We made pipecleaner neurons with over 580 museum guests. 


 group of children and adults exploring spectrUM museum at Parade of Lights

Visitors lining up at stations throughout the BrainZone to make neurons.

December 10, 2013. We hosted free activities for the community for the Missoula Downtown Association’s Parade of Lights celebration. In the BrainLab, we made Synaptic Snowglobes with over 500 museum guests. To learn more about the Parade of Lights visit their website Parade of Lights.

October 26, 2013. We hosted a Neuron Costume Contest giving goodies out to people who dressed up like a neuron. We celebrated Halloween with 128 guests.
young girl dressed up as a neuron with a dendrite headband and a woman dressed up with cardboard neuron and a dendrite headband

Mini-scientist dressed up as a neuron with a dendrite headband (left) and spectrUM educator dressed up with cardboard neuron and a dendrite headband.

September 6, 2013. The Big Sky Brain Project sponsored free admission for First Friday with the theme of Art and Neuroscience for over 170 visitors.

art and neuroscience first friday event

Art and Neuroscience First Friday Event

Autumn 2013. We led a Cortex Academy Homeschool Club occurring 1 day per week for 12 weeks for 8 middle school students. We developed lots of new BrainLab activities using these students as our guinea pigs.

August 23, 2013. spectrUM Discovery Area provided free admission to over 350 guests for our  Grand Opening Extravaganza. We had special guests like Mayor Engen and UM President Royce Engstrom.

Crowd waiting outside spectrUM Discovery Area downtown location to hear brief speeches and participate in the ribbon cutting. Each visitor was handed a pair of kid-friendly scissors.Mayor Engen and family, Holly Truitt, Director of spectrUM and UM President Engstrom

Crowd waiting outside spectrUM Discovery Area downtown location to hear brief speeches and participate in the ribbon cutting. Each visitor was handed a pair of kid-friendly scissors.

July 15-17, 2013. Ten students aged 8-12 years old joined us for Cortex Academy led by neuroscientist Dr. Katie Hoffman. 

June 2013. We hosted our first Neuroscience Camp at our new spectrUM Downtown location. The camp was through The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UM (MOLLI) for grandparents and their grandchildren. Visit MOLLI site for more information on the program.

June 1, 2013. We accepted our first round of 8 Brainzone Explainers from Hellgate, Sentinel and Big Sky High School as well as John Hopkins University.

Field Trips

In September of 2013 we launched K-12 field trip visits to the BrainZone and its BrainLab. We have had 2,300 visitors to the BrainZone field trip, with 300 preK, 1150 K-5th grade, 700 middle school students, 100 high school students, and 50 college students from the Missoula Valley and surrounding communities, including Browning on the Blackfeet Reservation, and Arlee, Superior, Ronan, Polson, and St. Ignatius on the Flathead Reservation.  Additionally, we have partnered with organizations that serve at-risk youth: the YMCA, Watsons Childrens Shelter, the Western Montana Mental Health Clinic, the Child Development Center, and the Boys and Girls Club of Missoula.


From the Road

Traveling science logo

To learn more about our traveling exhibits and to book a visit for your school today, read Montana spectrUM science experiences.


The Big Sky Brain Projects MosSE rural-tribal outreach served 3,498 K-12 students and approximately 300 adults in the communities of Florence, Lolo, Stevensville, St. Ignatius, Lincoln, Corvallis, Bozeman, Anaconda, Fort Benton, Highwood, Geraldine, and Seeley Lake.  Many of the individuals reached are American Indian. Read our blog to hear more about the Brain Hits the Road Fall Tour Kick Off

 3 elementary students holding a sheep brain.

3 students at a Family Science Night holding a sheep brain.

2012



From the Road

Traveling science logo

To learn more about our traveling exhibits and to book a visit for your school today, read Montana spectrUM science experiences.

In Autumn of 2012, our traveling Brain Exhibit traveled all over Montana to Harlem, Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation, Havre, and Box Elder serving over 1000 Montanans. Read the traveling Brain Exhibit 2012 to learn more.

group of students watching brain demonstration in Box Elder, MT

Group of students watching brain demonstration in Box Elder, MT

National Institutes of Health

We received funding from the National Institutes of Health, National Institutes on Drug Abuse for the Big Sky Brain Project through BLUEPRINT FOR NEUROSCIENCE RESEARCH SCIENCE EDUCATION AWARD (R25) 5R25DA033032-04