Hilleman & Vaccines: Connecting Culture to Scientific Curiosity Curriculum

This K-12 curriculum is organized around the life of Maurice Hilleman, a groundbreaking microbiologist and vaccine developer. Dr. Hilleman was born and raised in rural Montana, so these lessons will inspire curiosity in Montana’s rural students and spark interest in global public health. Indian Education For All connecting resources are included for all ages.

The project links photographs from Hilleman’s life, donated to Museum of the Rockies, that expand student knowledge of scientific concepts. The lessons were designed by a group of teachers from the elementary and high school level, who piloted the curriculum in their classrooms in Ekalaka, Montana, during May 2021. The content background was provided by Carter County Museum in consultation with Montana State University and Museum of the Rockies. This project was funded by a Montana State University Outreach and Engagement SEED grant. All lessons conform to Montana and NGSS Science Standards. It is ideally used in elementary classrooms for science learning and 9-12 Math, Science, English and History classrooms.  A video about the teacher/museum partnership for this project is available here.

Click here to view and download the 7-12 curriculum
Click here to view and download the K-6 curriculum
Click here to view and download the full curriculum.

The Carter County Museum is proud to announce the release of the 5th and 6th Grade curriculum “Our Home, Our World: Discovering Earth and Space Science in Kumamoto and Montana.” The curriculum is available for download in English and Japanese.

Funded by the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnerships and Museum of the Rockies, this curriculum promotes educational learning through the sciences of paleontology, geology and astronomy.

We welcome educators to use the entire curriculum or just one unit that applies most to their current studies. Additionally, we encourage each classroom to participate in the opening and closing lessons to better understand this project and the Montana-Kumamoto sister-state relationship. The three units (astronomy, geology and paleontology) can be taught in any order. However, the lessons within each unit are strongest in sequential order.

All lessons adhere to Montana and National Science Standards; the astronomy lessons also include Indian Education For All essential understandings.

In 2016, the Carter County Museum (CCM) and its sister museum, the Museum of the Rockies (MOR) in Bozeman, Montana embarked on a collaborative educational project known as MAIA: Mobile Science Lab.

This classroom lab explores the mathematical and biologic concepts of growth curves while connecting students with Montana’s agricultural economy and rich fossil history. A lesson developed by the science and math departments at Carter County High School (CCHS) and recently piloted at CCHS in Ekalaka, Montana, engages students in measuring femurs of cattle, chicken, deer, and the dinosaur Maiasaura. MOR and CCM provided access to materials and content oversight.

This traveling outreach program combines the osteology collections of CCM, one of the world’s best-studied dinosaur growth series from MOR, and partnership with Carter County High School. The result is an engaging learning experience that connects Montana rural students to mathematical concepts, agriculture, and natural science.

Download our letter to teachers here: MAIA Letter to Teachers
For more information, check out our press release: MAIA Press Release

The teacher’s guide and student workbook are available upon request.

The trunk is available for use to Montana high schools upon request. First priority for MAIA will be given to teachers and schools in southeastern Montana. To reserve the trunk or for further questions, contact Sabre Moore at