Inspiring Montana’s Next Generation about Higher Education and Careers

Dedicated to closing persistent opportunity and achievement gaps in our state, the University of Montana Broader Impacts Group (BIG) harnesses the university’s research and creative scholarship to educate and inspire the people of Montana. BIG is a family of high-impact organizations, including the spectrUM Discovery Area, We Are Montana in the Classroom, and the Autonomous Aerial Systems Office, including its Space Public Outreach Team and BOREALIS. Collectively, BIG’s initiatives serve 70,000 Montanans annually.

Since 2006, spectrUM has partnered with schools and local partners in the Bitterroot to embed exhibit-based learning and role-model engagement in school and community settings throughout the Valley. We Are Montana in the Classroom, launched in 2015, connects University of Montana and community role models with K-12 learners to inspire them about the opportunities that await them in higher education and career pathways.

With the Jane S. Heman Foundation and the Martin Family Foundation, BIG and a Bitterroot community advisory group are fostering rich learning in STEM and entrepreneurship through K-12 making and tinkering experiences, community pop-up museums, and role-model engagement.