spectrUM in the Bitterroot

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The spectrUM Discovery Area and Broader Impacts Group are partnering with schools and local organizations to inspire students about the bright futures that await them in higher education and the workforce. These efforts, funded by the Martin Family Foundation and the Jane S. Heman Foundation, are engaging students with making and tinkering activities, hands-on science exhibits, and role models from an array of career pathways. A community advisory group made up of local STEM professionals, parents, and educators is co-creating all of this engagement.

Residents of the Bitterroot Valley and beyond might engage with spectrUM at our Summer of Science programming to take place throughout the region, or through family science nights and in-school field trips with our mobile science program. We Are Montana in the Classroom, our role-model engagement initiative, has placed UM faculty members and graduate students in K-12 classrooms to explore everything from astronomy to veterinary medicine.

spectrUM staff members have been embedded in classrooms to co-facilitate making and tinkering activities with teachers and students. Activities such as robotics, forced-perspective photography, and circuitry are all on the menu, and are detailed in our Making and Tinkering Cookbook.  Additionally, read about Making and Tinkering in the Bitterroot.

As a capstone to each year’s making and tinkering experiences, fifth-grade students from Corvallis Middle School and Daly Elementary in Hamilton visited the Bitterroot College FabLab, and the whole community attended the Bitterroot Maker Fair, which took place this year at the Bitterroot College on May 4.

This summer, we will be visiting communities up and down the Bitterroot to share making and tinkering activities through our Summer of Science program.  Learn more about the Summer of Science.