Missoula's new science adventure: spectrUM Downtown

spectrUM Discovery Area is an interactive science museum, located in the Skaggs Building on the University of Montana campus, committed to inspiring a culture of learning and discovery for all. Last week, the museum opened a new location, spectrUM Downtown, in the Maya Building at 218 E. Front St. Unlike any other museum in the nation, spectrUM Downtown will house a National Institutes of Health-funded, real-time neuroscience “Brain Lab,” collaboratively created and designed by the Center for Structural and Functional Neuroscience as part of the Big Sky Brain Project. This working lab will be staffed by UM researchers and Missoula high school students. An exhibit in itself, the lab will allow visitors to experience cutting-edge neuroscience research firsthand.

Just steps away from the Clark Fork River, the museum also will feature a National Science Foundation EPSCoR-funded large-river ecosystem exhibition developed in partnership with the Montana Institute on Ecosystems. A cornerstone of the new museum space, the exhibition will include a water table where visitors can splash, play and learn about the Clark Fork River’s ecology, a river theater, an interactive flood plain table and a flight simulator where they can soar above the Clark Fork River.

Other features include a DigiZone where visitors can explore everything from robotics to digital games from PBS’s popular SciGirls Program, a beautiful multimedia classroom funded in part by the Jane S. Heman Foundation, spectrUM’s signature Discovery Bench, an expanded science gift shop and a full range of rotating exhibits and experiences.

SpectrUM’s current home on the UM campus will continue to be used as a gallery space to display hands-on exhibits for the University community and will be used regularly for special field trips, clubs and summer camps.

The community can visit spectrUM Downtown during public hours, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. Admission is $3.50 per person. Teachers can call 406-243-4828 to book a field trip at spectrUM. For more information on spectrUM Discovery Area visit their website at http://spectrum.umt.edu/.

This release is online at: http://bit.ly/14Ql69Z