Montana Tech Campus Corps to "Dig" Out the Science Mine



The Montana Tech Campus Corps team will spend Saturday afternoon, October 1 from 12-4, “digging” out The Science Mine, a hands-on science discovery center serving Butte and all of Southwest Montana. Located in the Historic Sears Building, a mixed-use redevelopment project located in the heart of Uptown Butte, the Science Mine, slated to open in December 2011, will offer residents and visitors the opportunity to “play around with science” in a safe, secure and welcoming environment.

The Campus Corps team will invite other Montana Tech student organizations to help clean out the Science Mine location and help the organization come closer to reaching its goal of opening in December. Students and student organizations interested in participating in the work day should contact Ashley Makowski at or 406-496-4692.

The mission of the Science Mine is to provide a family fun environment to make, learn, invent, craft, recycle, build, think, play and be inspired by celebrating arts, crafts, engineering, science, and technology in our community.

“Our goal is to encourage scientific literacy for all people by exploiting our natural inquisitiveness and love of play,” said Science Mine director, Mary Ann Harrington-Baker.

A group of Butte citizens has been working for over 20 years to put The Science Mine in place. Through the years of talking, members of The Science Mine working group gathered and salvaged hundreds of apparatus, parts and pieces for future exhibits, developing an extensive storehouse of parts.

“What The Science Mine needed was a place and the 2006 developer’s packet for the Historic Sears Building was planned to included providing a home for The Science Mine,” said Harrington-Baker.

With bricks and mortar in place, the vision of the founders was closer to reality and ready to formalize the organizational structure. The Science Mine was officially organized in 2007 as a Montana Non-Profit Organization and obtained its 501(c)(3) status.

The Science Mine is operated primarily by volunteers, but has received funding for exhibits from NorthWestern Energy and PPL. It has also received operating funds from several local companies.

This project is funded by the Governor’s Office of Community Service. If student organizations are unable to donate their time, they can still donate cleaning supplies and painting materials for the project by contacting Ashley Makowski.