Public Outreach and Educational Programs
Science should be fun and is fun. Professor Trevor Douglas, an expert in viruses and extremely tiny protein cages, has always believed in the importance
of play and a questioning mind. To develop those in children, Douglas came up with the idea for Science Saturdays. The unique aspect of Science Saturdays is
that it provides a way for faculty to share their interest in science and their research with children in the community. Most children have never met a research
"When you look at what's available fo kids in Bozeman, if you are good at sports, there are fantastic opportunities," Douglas said. "If you are good at music, there are fantastic programs. We want to offer more opportunities for kids that are interested in science and encourage all kids to come learn how to ask questions, play with science and learn about the exciting science that is happening at MSU directly from the person doing the work. We have incredible researchers in this town, and this is a way for them to connect with the next generation of learners."
Through the Youth Leadership Program, Bill McLaughlin was able to work with teenagers from the Gallatin County to introduce them to a chemical lab and the MSU academic environment. They conducted several chemical activities such as investigating variables and hypothesis testing in an "Alien Rescue", or producing silver from a solution by adding a strip of copper, as well as changing a penny into "gold" and producing a "ball of polymer."
In addition, the Chemistry and Biochemistry Outreach program has developed a list of over twenty scientific researchers and their areas of expertise for
use by local schools in order to facilitate talks, demonstrations, and hands-on activities.