Tuesday through Saturday
10am to 6pm
spectrUM, with its SciNation Advisory Committee, is committed to empowering and inspiring the Flathead Indian Reservation and its youth about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), higher education, and STEM careers. Together, we work to foster passion for STEM learning through culturally relevant, community-created programming rich with local and native role models and hands-on experiences. Through year-round programming both in school and in the community, we foster a vibrant STEM learning ecosystem to ignite students' excitement about learning and build a ladder for K-12 students into tomorrow's college classrooms and STEM careers.
Our collaboration has grown and evolved over time. With its founding in 2006, spectrUM began bringing exhibits and educators to schools and community events on the reservation. As spectrUM’s partnerships with teachers, school administrators, and tribal leaders deepened, we worked together to expand our programming and develop a holistic approach to providing hands-on STEM experiences and role models year round, both in and beyond the classroom walls. Today, many of spectrUM’s earliest champions sit alongside more recent partners on SciNation on the Flathead Reservation, an independent working group that co-creates programs and exhibits for all youth on the reservation.
Each summer at the Arlee Celebration, the largest powwow on the Flathead Reservation, spectrUM and SciNation's Science Learning Tent creates a space where children and their families can explore hands-on STEM and meet STEM role models from the Tribes and from the University of Montana. In 2016, the Science Learning Tent expanded to include the Elmo Standing Arrow Powwow.
Launched with a National Science Foundation grant, the Kwul 'I'tkin Maker Truck is a mobile, cultural makerspace co-designed by spectrUM, SciNation, and the Salish and Kootenai culture committees. The Maker Truck is owned and operated by the Tribes' Natural Resources Department and brings culturally relevant STEM activities, including basket weaving, drum making, and beading to K-12 schools and community events. The project's activity guide is available for educators here.
Embodying the mantra of "just add science," the Science Bytes program embeds hands-on STEM learning at free summer meals sites on the Flathead Reservation, bringing role models and enrichment to community sites where children already gather. Science Bytes has been supported by GSK Science in the Summer, No Kid Hungry, Ronan School District, and the Bonneville Power Administration.
spectrUM's Science on Wheels program transforms school gyms into hands-on science centers. The program visits K-12 schools across our state, including on the Flathead Indian Reservation, with exhibitions such as Water, Montana Makers, Hands on Health, Brain: A World Inside Your Head, and Motion.
As part of the U.S. Department of Education-funded BRAIDS project led by the Salish Kootenai College, spectrUM and SciNation partnered with organizations on the Flathead Reservation to launch the reservation-wide Science and Tech Festival to engage middle school students with locally relevant challenges such as water quality and food sovereignty.
Past Committee Members: