BrainZone field trips

BrainZone K-12 Field Trips

Educators, give your students the gift of neuroscience!  The University of Montana spectrUM Discovery Area Downtown and the Big Sky Brain Project hosts exciting field trips all year long.

BrainZone is an exciting exhibition designed to inspire the next generation of Montanans and neuroscientists by sharing the dynamic world inside our heads.  It provides a hands-on and up-close look at the human body’s most fascinating organ, the brain.  Through interactive exhibits and age-appropriate experiences, field trips visitors will explore the wonders of neuroscience and the inner workings of the brain.

Field trip visitors will get to experience the BrainLab, a one-of-a-kind neuroscience lab embedded on the museum floor.  Students will explore dissections, living organisms, and get to meet researchers that study how the brain works!

Students will explore an altered reality through vision-changing goggles, play games that connect with their own brain waves, and investigate a fruit fly exhibit in which you can see different types of fruit fly mutations.

Field trips last 90 minutes and are available year-round.  Available times for scheduling are Monday and Tuesday, or mornings of Thursday or Friday.

During every field trip to the BrainZone, students participate in a guided activity at the Brain Lab designed to meet State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards for elementary, middle, and high school students.

Pick your activity: (see table for grade recommendations)

  • Senses: Explore the senses through interactive activities and experiments.
  • Talking Neurons and Circuits: Create a neuron while learning its anatomy and function. Experience the electricity in your brain with circuits.
  • Eye Dissection: Explore the optic system through a guided eye dissection.
  • Brain Dissection: Learn the structure and function of the brain though a guided dissection.
  • Behavior Experiments: Examine behavior through explorative experiments with fruit flies or worms.

Recommendations for Activities by Grade

preK K-1 2-3 4-5 6-8 9-12

Senses 

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Talking Neurons and Circuitry

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Eye Dissection 

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Brain Dissection 

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Behavior Experiments

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Please provide at least 24 hours notice of cancellation; otherwise, a $52.50 cancellation fee applies.

Free passes are only valid during public hours.  They cannot be used during field trips.

We have a store, and often students like to bring money to purchase items. Some of our most popular items are a dollar or less, so if they are interested, they might want to bring some pocket change.

Call (406) 728-7836 (STEM) or fill out this form to request a field trip today!

Pre-Visit

Key Concepts Explored at the BrainZone and BrainLab

The brain is our most complex organ. The average brain only weighs three pounds, but it uses over 20% of your body's energy to function! It is divided into two hemispheres. The left hemisphere controls the right side of your body, and the right hemisphere controls the left side of your body. Some basic themes explored during a field trip at BrainZone include:

  • Regions of the brain and their function
  • Perception and senses
  • Anatomy and function of a neuron
  • Ability of the brain to learn and change
  • How scientists study the nervous system

Pre-Visit Discussion

We invite you to have a discussion with your class before visiting the BrainZone to explore what do they already know about the brain and how it works.

These topics will be explored at your field trip.

  • What are the five senses? How are they perceived in the brain?
  • What are the different regions of the brain? What are their functions?
  • How do researchers study the brain?
  • How does your brain communicate with your body?

Post-Visit

Post-Visit Discussion

After visiting the BrainZone, we invite you to review the pre-visit discussion items.

  • What did students learn from their visit to the BrainZone and BrainLab?
  • What was their favorite part of the exhibition?
  • Are they interested in pursuing a career in neuroscience or neurobiology?

Some of our favorite neuroscience links

Check out these great websites to get more information about the brain to use in your classroom!