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2009 Annual Science Report

Montana State University Reporting  |  JUL 2008 – AUG 2009

EPO Activity: GK12 Programming

Project Progress

ABRC and the Museum of the Rockies sponsored Darwin Days at the museum, targeting elementary grade school children as well as their parents. This event highlighted DNA sequencing as a way of identifying genetically related species. This all day event brought hundreds of children to the museum to enjoy hands on experiments.

ABRC and the Thermal Biology Institute provided a day of workshops at Expanding Your Horizons in Bozeman. This is a nation-wide program held primarily for girls to promote women in science. Graduate student Dana Skorupa and Hot Science coordinator Monica Brelsford provided hands on workshop experiences with extreme life found in Yellowstone’s thermal features. The students were intrigued with microscopic life and their abilities to function in acid and high temperature environments.

Throughout the year, ABRC’s staff provide in school presentations and hands-on labs to elementary, middle, and high school students through the Hot Science program. MSU faculty, staff and graduate students participate in the Gallatin County Science Fair as judges. Last year, over 100 posters were presented by students from kindergarten to 8th grade. Judges enjoyed interacting with students and the students were fascinated with meeting real life scientists.

Project Exploration is a summer constant on the field trip agenda. This year nine young women from inner city Chicago came to Yellowstone National Park on an ‘All Girls Expedition’. We provided two women graduate students and staff personnel on a full day excursion of hands-on water testing of thermal features. This is a unique opportunity for girls to not only expand their science knowledge, but also to expand their culture beyond the inner city.