Last updated: 2/6/2012
Helena, Montana
Address
995 Carousel Way
Helena, MT 59601
phone: 406-457-1800 x1
e-mail: info@explorationworks.org
web: www.explorationworks.org
Services
Gift Shop
Special Event Rental
Cafe/Restaurant
Group Tours
Staff
Nikki Andersen, Executive Director
phone: 406-457-1800 x4
Paige Terhune, Visitor Services
phone: 406-457-1800 x1
Ron Boggs, Director of Business Operations
phone: 406-457-1800 x5
Mission

CommunityWorks builds community, seeking new solutions to old problems and collaborating for strength. CommunityWorks fosters a healthy, peaceful, vibrant community grounded in educational excellence, authenticity and richness of relationships, respect and celebration of diversity.

Around the world, interactive museums, science centers and children's museums provide exciting approaches to education. At the new ExplorationWorks interactive musem, exhibits, programs, workshops, classes, and camps are available for kids, youths, families, seniors/elders, as well as school and community groups. ExplorationWorks helps meet community needs as an important partner with formal education, as a setting for informal learning, a place where families learn together, and as a catalyst and venue for community involvement in education for people from all ages, interests, and walks of life. Through early CommunityWorks “Museum Without Walls” programming and community-based center planning, strong partnerships developed with the City of Helena, Carroll College, Helena Public Schools, and others local and statewide organizations. Through collaborations with organizations that reach and serve at-risk and low-income populations our goal is to provide a center that is accessible, welcoming and inclusive of all people from varying social and economic backgrounds and experiences. Scholarship entry fees, memberships and program tuitions are always available.

History

CommunityWorks, Inc. a 501(c)(3) Montana corporation founded in 2000, is the organization that developed the ExplorationWorks museum. ExplorationWorks is an Assumed Business Name (ABN) of CommunityWorks, Inc. CommunityWorks, Inc. was founded to create a community informal learning center and gathering place. Founders sought to develop a facility that could provide innovative, hands—on educational opportunities, working in partnership with public schools and that could be available for students of all ages and from varied backgrounds. Many models were explored: children’s museums, community centers, and science centers. Through early years of learning and exploration, the science center model was determined to best fit the mission and target audience of CommunityWorks' programs and goals. The science center model provided a marketable package for the goals and mission of the organization, and many models around the world as well as a national association to provide resources. CommunityWorks, Inc./ExplorationWorks has been a member of the Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC) since 2002, and staff, board members and volunteers have attended annual ASTC conferences and other trainings since that time.

CommunityWorks, Inc. began offering “Museum Without Walls” programming in 2000. Interactive, hands-on community education enrichment programs, involving kids, families and seniors, provide opportunities for experimentation and experiential investigation of subject areas, while also building community, and promoting appreciation of the differences among us. Supported by generous volunteer hours, contributions from local businesses, and funding from tuition fees, grants, and donations, exciting, successful projects and programs develope

Educational Programs

Exhibitions, educational programs, teacher workshops, summer camps, seasonal classes, adult programming, after hours courses, lectures, Pecha Kucha, teacher resource center, costs vary.

Robotics and Engineering at ExplorationWorks

At ExWorks we use a number of Lego blocks and Lego-based robotics kits to span a range of educational opportunities from Kindergarten through High School. As a complement to robotics programs, we also teach Circuits and Switches to use in simple take-home toys, and we have fun with computer programming using the Scratch animation program. Our system, developed over the years, closely resembles current efforts to introduce Engineering and Technology into schools around the world.

Permanent Exhibits/Family Fun

  • •Giant Newton's Cradle
  • •Amazing Airways
  • •Exploration Garden
  • •Little Sky Country
  • •Observation Hive
  • •WaterWorks
  • •Pin Impression Board
Facilities

We build science-themed exhibit sets

We build science-themed exhibit sets for our own display and for lease to other institutions. Contact Ron Boggs for lease details. RonB@explorationworks.org

Lecture Halls

Performance Areas

Library

Access: Staff Only

Appointment required: No

Services

Host Your Gathering at ExplorationWorks: It's the Place to Be!

ExplorationWorks has become a popular site for gatherings of many kinds. Corporate events, social gatherings, meetings, parties, dances, breakout sessions from other nearby events, awards ceremonies, birthdays, weddings and reunions. We have hosted a range of groups from the 4H club to financial institutions, medical centers to law offices, high school science clubs to International Rotary Club members from Brazil. Our exhibits enhance the sociability of almost any event and many of the organizations who choose to rent our facilities return again and again. We are confident that our "can do" attitude and beautiful, centrally located facility will assist in making your event or gathering the best it can be!

PerkWorks! Offers Great Refreshments

Next time you come in to the Museum, treat yourself to "a little something" from PerkWorks. Your taste buds will thank you. Whether you have a hankerin' for a fruit smoothie, or you just have to get your favorite espresso...ExWorks is ready for you! Our new PerkWorks! refreshment center offers really fresh, really delicious snacks and drinks. The arabica coffee is custom roasted right here in Montana. You just won't find a better cup of joe! Even the hot chocolate is special: Girardelli dark chocolate syrup, ground vanilla, whole milk (if you desire) whipped cream--YUM! A variety of healthy snacks are also available--fruit chews, granola bars and the like.

The ExploreStore

The ExploreStore is the place to shop for unique educational toys that extend the museum experience. We offer imaginative toys and gifts for children of all ages, many of which reflect the museum's hands-on exhibits and programs. Choose from a wide selection of unusual gadgets, science kits, fun games, engaging craft kits, books, and toys you won't find anywhere else. There's something just right for any size child or budget. The ExploreStore is also an ideal place to find gifts for birthdays, holidays or any special occasion!

Gift Shop

Special Event Rental

Restaurant

Group Tours

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THANK YOU 2021 SPONSORS!
Corrales, New Mexico

Ideum is a creative company focused on using emerging technologies to design public installations and products that lead to meaningful visitor experiences. We design innovative exhibitions, AV installations, and interactive digital exhibits.

MUSEUM CONFERENCES
Wednesday, August 4 - Friday, August 6, 2021 — Virtual
2021 Annual Association of African American Museums (AAAM) Conference
Monday, August 23 - Thursday, August 26, 2021 — Virtual
2021 Association of Nature Center Administrators Summit
Wednesday, September 1 - Thursday, September 30, 2021 — Virtual
CANCELLED: Florida Association of Museums 2021 Annual Conference
Monday, September 20 - Sunday, September 26, 2021 — Virtual
American Craft Council (ACC) Atlanta Southeast Craft Week
Wednesday, September 22 - Saturday, September 25, 2021 — Virtual
American Association for State and Local History/AMA 2021 Annual Meeting
Friday, October 1 - Sunday, October 31, 2021 — Virtual
Arriving this October: The Western Museum Association Roadshow!
Wednesday, October 6 - Friday, October 8, 2021 — Virginia City, Nevada
Nevada Museum Association 2021 Annual Conference
Virginia City, Nevada
Monday, November 29 - Wednesday, December 1, 2021 — Washington, District of Columbia
2021 International Conference of Indigenous Archives, Libraries, and Museums
Washington, District of Columbia
Sunday, March 6 - Thursday, March 10, 2022 — St. Louis, Missouri
2022 Public Land Alliance Convention and Trade Show
St. Louis, Missouri