BOZEMAN — As Governor Bullock announced the expansion of phase one, museums were included on that list. At the Montana Science Center they have been operating online during the COVID-19 shutodwn.
“We’ve been doing what we can to still provide quality science education,” said executive director Abby Turner.
However, the science center may not open with under the new phase one directive. This is due to the fact people have to interact with most of the stations that are in the building.
“We knew we wouldn’t be able to open in phase one," said Turner. "There’s just to many adjustments that we have, too many safety precautions that we want to really make sure we’re really dialing in before we welcome the public back into our space.”
The science center has ramped up their educating efforts to online.
"We’re producing about five different online videos, said Turner. "On top of that, we’re also running what we call virtual open lab for our high tech virtual maker space, the steam lab. We’re running through zoom meetings with kids, a mine craft portal, we’re doing some virtual programming that way as well."
But when the museum is allowed to open, how do you keep a bunch of young children socially distant?
“We do want to continue our heart of the mission which is interactive play, learning through play and engaging with science," Turner said. "It is our priority to figure out a way to let them be kids, let them discover science in their way, while keeping the community safe.”
Until the science center opens for phase two, whenever that is, Turner will continue to miss the way things were before COVID-19.
“Just having people in our space, having the screaming kids, everyone having a good time," she said. "It’s really hard to be in this space when it’s so quiet.”