- After sprinkling iron filings over the curved shape of a World
War II radar magnet, 8-year-old Olivia Perez strategically added
a few lug nuts, some bolts and screws, then stepped back to admire
just a few moments the humble pile of scrap metal was transformed
into an alien sea beast.
materials make great, scary creatures, Perez said as she gazed
at the spiky-haired monster she designed on Sunday during the first
day of the University of Montana's two-day spectrUM Discovery Area
exhibit at Salish Kootenai College.
really cool how this stuff sticks together, she said while
reassembling the parts into yet another freak of nature. I
would love to have something like this at home so I could play with
it on days when it's snowing and there's nothing to do.
is really fun.
for Perez and her family, the hands-on science exhibit will be in
Pablo one more day before it is back on the road with scheduled
stops in Browning, Box Elder, Harlem, Wolf Point, Lodge Grass and
to a series of grants, UM is this year's host of the traveling Weather
exhibit from the San Francisco Exploratorium, said Emily Crawford,
spectrUM outreach coordinator.
on the road this month, students will engage with four of the exhibit's
14 hands-on science stations, and during the summer months, the
entire exhibit will be available to the public at Montana Tech in
opportunities likes this are available in urban settings around
the country, but not in rural areas or in tribal communities,
Crawford said. And we are really excited to bring these hands-on
exhibits to all our major communities in Montana.
from the astonishing power of magnets, on Sunday children seemed
to be most captivated by the mesmerizing power of a giant Gravity
that exhibit, when pennies are placed into a slot, they roll out
on their edge, around and around a huge black drum drawing ever
closer to the center of the drum and its giant black hole. Eventually,
they drop in.
well captured Sam Wicker's 8-year-old imagination as he watched
the pennies spin around, never faltering because of ventricular
penny at time, he realized, wasn't nearly as fun as dozens, one
the drum aswirl with pennies, the thing hummed and buzzed, attracting
the attention of Perez's 2-year-old sister, Sierra, and 4-year-old
to miss out on the fun, Sierra picked up handfuls of pennies and
flung them into the mix, derailing gravity in action and proving
she was a mighty force to be reckoned with in her own right.
I get home after work during the week and the house is a mess, I
know which hurricane came through, quipped Juan Perez, Sierra's
matter the technique or outcome, experiencing science is the whole
point of the exhibit, Crawford said.
want to offer a physical opportunity to relate to scientific concepts,
rather than just have learning be mental and intellectual,
she said. We want to instill learning with play - something
we call instilling prior knowledge.
idea is that these kids will have knowledge of science at a young
age, so when they are sitting in a classroom one day and learning
they might remember a hands-on experience they had.