Wednesday, January 31, 2018


Montana Campus Compact VISTA Harley Fredriksen currently serves at University of Montana (UM) Broader Impact Group bringing UM Graduate Students and Researchers into Public School classrooms across the state. I was lucky to get out of the office for few hours and tag along with Harley and Kate Perkins on their recent trip down to Hamilton Middle School where Kate taught physics through hula hooping. 

The Broader Impact Group Model was developed to help form working partnerships between  various University departments. Over the years the program has had great success in connecting university departments around extending campus resources into surrounding communities. MTCC VISTAs, Katy White and Harley Fredriksen have been helping shape those successes for the past two years. 
“For me the best of of service has been translating great UM resources, largely science curriculum into approachable lesson plans for smaller and more under-served communities and students across Montana.” – Harley Fredriksen 
On a cold and grey Missoula Wednesday Kate, a UM MS student in Systems Ecology studying river ecology in the Upper Clark Fork, stepped up as a We Are MT in the Classroom (WRMT) volunteer for the second time. She led Hamilton students through the core concepts of mass, gravity, force, and friction and then turned them loose to team test these concepts with hula hoops. 

Harley noted, “It is always nice to go into classrooms and get students moving - learning through doing. We have been to Hamilton a couple times now. The students know what the Role Models program is, we know them, and it is a great experience overall.” 

As the program looks to consistently grow capacity through the VISTA project Harley intends to make the most of visits down to the Bitterroot. WRMT will begin hosting Open Houses in Hamilton and Corvallis Schools in February and throughout the spring to connect classroom teachers with local professionals who can become WRMT mentors too. 

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