In The News
Latest Happenings at the Montana Learning Center
Meet The Board
| March 2020 |
Montana Learning Center is excited to announce its Inaugural Big Sky Star Festival coming this July
Come mid-July, Montana’s awe-inspiring night sky will be center stage at the Montana Learning Center’s inaugural Big Sky Star Festival. The two-night and three-day event, this coming July 17, 18 and 19, will be held at the Montana Learning Center’s campus at Canyon Ferry Lake, near Helena, Montana.
Astronomy experts from across the nation will be there to share expertise and experiences. The highlight of each evening will be the viewing of planets, galaxies and nebulae through the Montana Learning Center’s 25-inch telescope.
“As home to the largest public-use observatory in Montana, we are thrilled to be offering this opportunity to bring people from all walks of life together to celebrate the beauty of the night sky,” said Ryan Hannahoe, Executive Director of the Montana Learning Center.
| January 2020 |
The Montana Learning Center Launches Research-grade Remote Telescope for Students and Teachers
With a click of a computer mouse, science teachers nationwide will soon be able to open a window for students to explore the wonders of the night sky.
The distant light of galaxies, star clusters and nebulae will become part of students learning and doing research through free online training offered to science teachers by the Montana Learning Center, located at Canyon Ferry Lake outside of Helena.
This training will allow teachers to use the Montana Learning Center’s 16-inch research-grade Ritchey-Chretien telescope for classroom projects and to also train students in the telescope’s use.
| October 2019 |
The Montana Learning Center to host NASA’s ROADS on Mars Student Challenge for Montana. Registration now open.
NASA’s ROADS (Rover Observation and Drone Survey) on Mars Challenge, a program by the Northwest Earth and Space Sciences Pipeline that’s based at the University of Washington in Seattle, seeks to engage students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEAM). This program parallels NASA’s Mars 2020 effort and pays tribute to the heroism of the Apollo 13 astronauts and the vision of human exploration of the solar system.
The competition consists of three parts and examines how water may have shaped some of the landscape of Mars, a search for methane gas that could help indicate the presence of past life and lastly the use of a drone and rover to survey an official map of the Mars landscape and collect specimens.
Students in grades 3 through 12 may enter the ROADS on Mars Challenge.
| September 2019 |
Timothy Ferris, world-renowned author and producer of the Golden Record on board the Voyager Spacecraft, makes landmark donation to the Montana Learning Center
Timothy Ferris, who traces his fascination with the night sky to his childhood in rural Florida, is helping children today cultivate the same passion.
Ferris, 75, who was the producer of the Golden Record on board the Voyager Spacecraft, the author of more than a dozen books, and an editor of “Rolling Stone,” is donating a Byers Series III robotic telescope mount to the Montana Learning Center. This high-end equipment will help share the cosmos with students and teachers who come to the Helena area campus to learn about astronomy.
The Montana Learning Center currently has two observatories and is working on plans to construct a third.
| August 2019 |
Montana Learning Center to Host Dark Sky Conference
Beginning on Sept. 27, the Montana Learning Center in partnership with the Montana Chapter of the International Dark Sky Association will offer an opportunity to view the brilliance of the cosmos during the 2019 Montana Dark Sky Conference & Star Party.
“Astronomy is one of the many sciences that anyone can be a part of,” Hannahoe said. “You can go outside, look up and be overwhelmed with the vastness of Montana’s starry skies.”
The conference and star party, which concludes on Sunday, Sept. 29, will be held at the Montana Learning Center campus, 7653 Canyon Ferry Road, which is located just outside of Helena. Registration is $25 for adults and $10 for students. Children will be required to be accompanied by an adult.
| June 2019 |
Join us for a celebration with the stars on July 6 at the Montana Learning Center!!!
Nebulae, galaxies, and all that grace Montana’s night sky will be on display at the Mike and Lynn Rice Astronomical Park at the Montana Learning Center, 7653 Canyon Ferry Road.
The Montana Learning Center has been offering summer science camps for kids and teacher trainings since the 1980s!
You are invited to join the public grand opening for the Mike and Lynn Rice Astronomical Park. Tours of the observatory complex will begin at 9 p.m.
The highlight of the evening’s events will be viewing the night sky through the Montana Learning Center’s 25-inch telescope, the largest public-use telescope in Montana. The light of distant stars, planets, and galaxies will be brought to you in brilliant color.
| May 2019 |
Clancy’s awarding-winning science teacher, Ryan Hannahoe, will become the full-time executive director of the Montana Learning Center
Hannahoe will start as the center’s full-time director on June 1, 2019. His work will allow the Montana Learning Center, located at Canyon Ferry Lake outside of Helena, to further its mission of providing and promoting quality immersion experiences for all in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics in a unique lakeside setting.
To help support his position at the Montana Learning Center, Hannahoe has been awarded a Montana Space Grant Consortium Faculty Fellowship.
Prior to receiving the fellowship, Hannahoe shared his time between teaching science in Clancy and as the Montana Learning Center’s executive director – a position he has held since 2016.
| January 2019 |
The Montana Learning Center has been selected by NASA to host the Apollo 50th Next Giant Leap Student Challenge for Montana.
The Montana Learning Center, located at Canyon Ferry Lake outside of Helena, has been chosen as one of 14 institutions nationwide as regional hubs for Apollo 50th Next Giant Leap Student Challenge, a competition for middle school and high school students. The aeronautics, engineering and robotics competition is hosted by NASA and the Northwest Earth and Space Sciences Pipeline, a collaborative K-12 education effort based at the University of Washington in Seattle.
“The Montana Learning Center at Canyon Ferry Lake is known across the state as a premier center for kids’ camps and teacher training that are STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics) based. Being a hub for the NASA challenge shines a national light on our nonprofit, our programs and the good work that we do,” said Ryan Hannahoe, executive director of the Montana Learning Center.