A vote for math and science trading cards is a vote for coolness

As the mother of an impressionable young girl, I would love for my daughter to grow up with the idea that math and science are cool. It would be just great if she were somehow convinced that becoming a scientist or mathematician is a wonderful and worthy goal.

And that is why I am enthusiastically endorsing Gov. Brian Schweitzer and First Lady Nancy Schweitzer’s math and science initiative, and especially their math and science trading cards - the fact-filled cards Nancy Schweitzer hands out to students when she visits classrooms throughout the state.

After all, what kid wouldn’t consider Montana’s governor – a soil scientist – and his wife – who is a botanist – the height of inspiration? And trading cards? You know the kids love those.

You want further proof of cool? Check out the Web site photos, which show the Schweitzers doing awesome things like sitting atop a wind turbine. Ooh! And there’s one of them CLUTCHING A LIGHTNING BOLT! Even their trusty dog Jag is rockin’ the safety glasses on the home page.

The point of this post, however, is not just to steer you to the math and science initiative, but to encourage you and your kids to vote for the next round of math and science trading cards.

“Kids of all ages can find something new to learn about energy in Montana – from where our resources came from to how we’re using them today,” Montana’s First Lady said in a prepared statement.  “The voting contest lets kids decide what’s most interesting to them.”

Go to mathscience.mt.gov to vote for your favorite facts about Montana. You and your kids might just learn a few fun facts along the way – and wouldn’t that be cool?

- MM

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Missoula kids organize first Diversity Day

A press release from the National Coalition Building Institute in Missoula today announces that next Monday, April 12, will be Missoula’s first annual Diversity Day, and links the planned celebration to an opportunity to support the proposed inclusion of “gender identity or expression” to the city’s anti-discrimination ordinance.

See, Missoula’s City Council is scheduled to consider the ordinance during its regular Monday night meeting that same day.

The release explains that the day is being established through the work of Respect Club members – students at Missoula middle schools C.S. Porter, Meadow Hill and Washington. Respect Club is an after-school program run in partnership with Flagship and NCBI that aims to give students a forum to talk about violence, prejudice other issues in their schools, with the goal of raising awareness of problems and promoting solutions.

Many Missoulians are already familiar with Respect Clubs through their annual community projects. Last year, for instance, students at C.S. Porter, MeadowHill and Washington middle schools made a documentary film giving the wider community an inside look at how issues like bullying and homophobia impact our kids.  

To participate in Diversity Day, show up at Caras Park on April 12 at 6 p.m. There, Mayor John Engen is expected to make an appearance in order to issue an official proclamation declaring the day Diversity Day. He’ll be there in addition to other “youth and community speakers representing all of Missoula’s diverse community members.” 

According to the release, the “rally will be followed by a parade from Caras Park down to the Missoula City Council Chambers on Pine St., where interested participants can lend their support to the passing of a non-discrimination ordinance for Missoula.”

The release also included this quote from a seventh-grader at Meadow Hill: ”I want a diversity day because being different is important.  Diversity Day could help bring our community together, and we all need to be recognized.” 

- MM

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