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Montana Science Center to reopen

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MONTANA SCIENCE CENTER

BOZEMAN – On Saturday, Sept. 12, Montana Science Center will reopen their doors to the public at 2744 W. Main St. after temporarily closing the doors due to COVID-19 on March 16. Montana Science Center relocated to the Main Street location on Jan. 20. The staff at MSC is excited to announce that the Center is ready for families and community members to visit safely again.

Located across from the Gallatin Valley Mall, the new location is nearly double in size of their old location and features new exhibits, a new Science Station, expanded STEAMlab and a larger meeting space for programs and events. Current Members of the Science Center will be welcomed back starting Monday, Sept. 7. Montana Science Center has been working with the state, Gallatin County Health Department and all guidelines to reopen safely with limited capacity for a safe community.

Since the closure, MSC staff has been working full time to make necessary adjustments to the physical space, exhibits and safety protocols to reopen in the best possible way for community families. Adaptations to the Center include new exhibit pieces that focus on “hands-off” but “brains-on” exhibits, decreased materials for increased cleaning viability and pre-registration programs to enhance attendance.

Additionally, enhancements to the building’s HVAC system ensure hospital-grade filtering of the air. “It has been an incredible project,” said Executive Director, Abby Turner. “The staff’s efforts have taken shape with building upgrades, program additions and design enhancements that promote engagement with STEAM topics while keeping our patrons safe. We are looking forward to inviting the community to become engaged in interactive STEM experiences, classes again.”

In addition to new programs for students at home during the school year, the high-tech makerspace, STEAMlab will offer expanded opportunities. Programs include a weekly Science Class, daily STEAMlab Open Labs and coding clubs, STEM in the Park, and program partnerships with other area organizations. “We have been working collectively with all childcare providers in the Valley to create meaningful experiences for children of all ages as we navigate the waters during these times,” Turner said. “We hope to provide these experiences while meeting the needs of students no matter what mode of education they are learning by.”

All programs will be registration-required via the website at MontanaScienceCenter.org.

As the community adapts to a flexible school schedule, MSC will flex STEM education offerings to meet the needs of parents, families, teachers and rural communities through programming. Additionally, MSC will be introducing two new exhibits for engagement this fall – a NISE Network exhibit entitled Sun, Earth, Universe and one developed by the MSC team called Dangerous Nature. Though the closure has left a gap this summer for activities for families with children, MSC looks forward to welcoming patrons back, safely, into the Science Center. New hours will include a “cleaning break” from 12-2 p.m. daily and MSC will be closed on Wednesdays for field trips and cleaning each week.

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