spectrUM Discovery Area

How might you create a third place that inspires the next generation of Montanans about STEM, higher education, and their bright futures?


As the founding director of spectrUM, Holly, together with a talented staff and a dynamic board brought to life a vision for a hands-on-science museum. Fourteen years after the original idea was proposed in a National Science Foundation grant, the museum serves as a cornerstone for budding Montana scientists and stands as a fixture in the Missoula community. Holly led the organization through expansive growth, moving it to three increasingly larger locations during her tenure. With the long-held goal of removing cost as a barrier to entry, she helped lead the design of its new home in the library-museum complex, where access will be free to all. Beyond its four walls, Holly used principles of creative engagement and co-creative initiatives to bring hands-on science to rural and tribal communities throughout Montana.