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STEAMlab Open House – A new space for learning and innovation

November 8, 2014

The Children’s Museum of Bozeman is putting the finishing touches on their new STEAMlab, a high-tech learning space where kids and families can experience hands-on “making” activities in science, technology, engineering, art and math using cutting-edge tools.

The Museum, located at 202 S. Willson Avenue, will be hosting an Open House to introduce this program to the community on Friday November 14th from 5pm to 8pm during the museum’s regular Free Friday Night event.

During the Open House, kids and families will be invited to tour the STEAMlab and check out some of the amazing projects built by students so far. There will be short presentations  and hands-on activities throughout the evening, so families may drop in any time to visit and learn about the lab.

And as always during Free Friday Night, Tarantino’s pizza is available for just $1 a slice, and drinks and other snacks can be purchased in CMB’s Atomic Kitchen.

No tickets necessary – come one, come all! Call CMB at 522-9087 for more information.


Join a Gifted Parents Discussion Group this Fall

September 14, 2014

Join other parents to discuss the unique challenges that gifted children bring to families.  For the third year, we’re offering the chance to join a facilitated discussion group in Bozeman specifically for parents of gifted students.

SENG logoSENG, Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted, is a non-profit organization devoted to building parent understanding about the needs of gifted children. The SENG Model Parent Group is a forum for exchanging parenting wisdom and building a supportive dialogue. Trained SENG facilitators will guide weekly discussion, drawing upon topics from a comprehensive handbook based in research.

A Parents Guide to Gifted ChildrenThe $35 registration fee covers the cost of the book, A Parent’s Guide to Gifted Children. We will focus our discussion on one chapter from this book each week.

• What: SENG Model Parent Group: Supporting your Gifted Child
• When: Seven Tuesdays, October 7 through November 18, 6:00 – 7:00 PM
• Where: Bozeman High School library, 205 North 11th Ave., Bozeman
• Cost: $35, which includes a copy of A Parent’s Guide to Gifted Children

“I learned tools to help my kids approach challenges in a positive way.”
– Spring, 2012 Participant

To register for the group, call 522-6016 or email Wendy Morical.

Sample a little Destination Imagination

September 6, 2014

Montana Destination Imagination is again hosting creative problem solving events for students to experience Destination Imagination.  Elementary and Middle School students (K-8) will work to solve up to four Instant Challenges at the Creativity Mindshift from 6:30 -8:30PM, on September 16 and September 25, at the Belgrade Armory, 350 Airport Rd, Belgrade.

Come join us for an evening filled with fun and creativity. Each event is limited to 100 participants, so register early. For more information, download the flyer from the Montana DI website.

DI is a program for all students that challenges them to work collaboratively to solve open ended challenges. Through this process they use creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, and communication skills. Destination Imagination ignites a lifetime of learning.
For more information, contact Heather Geiger or 406-285-3777.


In addition to the Creativity Mindshift, Montana DI will  have booths at the Montana Parent After School Activity Roundup on September 11, at the Gallatin Valley Mall and at the Belgrade Fall Festival on September 20th.  Stop by our booth to try your hand at solving the Pachinko Instant Challenge or the Insanity Boxes Challenge.

Circle up, math lovers!

July 25, 2014

Bozeman Math Circle (BMC) is pleased to announce its kick-off meetings for the 2014 – 2015 school year. The program is open to those who will be middle school students or high school freshmen during fall 2014. We will meet at Montana State University’s Reid Hall from 9:00 AM to noon on Friday, July 25 in Room #124 and Monday, August 18 in Room #126 . We will discuss interesting math puzzles and problems not taught in the school curriculum and review math competition problems from MathCounts and American Mathematics Contests 8 and 10.

Those who are eligible for the program may sign up at”

We’ve Got a Real Race for School Board

May 4, 2014

This year, for the first time in several years, we actually have multiple candidates for the school board positions. We asked each candidate to answer the question, “What, if anything, would you change about the Bozeman gifted program?”  They didn’t get the question until the Friday before the election, so we may not get responses from everyone, but what we do get will be posted here.

Three candidates are running for two seats representing the Bozeman elementary district:  Gardy Lusin, Heide Arneson and Marty Livingston.  Cynthis Bradford Lencioni is running unopposed for the high school district seat.

From Heide Arneson:

Thank you for your question. I am a parent of gifted students myself, one gifted, one highly gifted with a learning disability. More than fifteen years ago there was an excellent program that took gifted elementary students from across the district out of the classroom for high level activities one afternoon each week. For many years Bozeman had a gifted after school program that exposed gifted 3-5 graders to a wide variety of activities. Regrettably such activities are not currently available for our students.

On the positive side, as we increase learning through hands on activities, we are providing educational opportunities for all students to gain knowledge and experience. As our classrooms became more crowded, many teachers removed the hands on activity centers that had been in their classrooms for use by gifted students. Now through common core, teachers are creating more of these experiential activities to challenge each student at their own level.
I am pleased that we are doing a lot more these days to challenge our gifted students, both in and out of the classroom. I wish we had more resources to further challenge these students. With Response To Intervention, we are no longer focusing on the weaknesses of gifted students with disabilities, but enabling them to develop in their strength areas as well. There are greater opportunities for kids to explore their interests in middle and high school, with a wide variety of course offerings and club activities.

As a school board it is our responsibility to manage the limited resources available, ensuring that we are meeting the basic requirement of Montana law and educational best practices, and then providing resources to help each student further develop their potential. We are lucky to have a supportive community and a dedicated staff of educators who work hard to help each student succeed. We may not always meet the needs of every student, though each year we improve. As a parent of two gifted students, this is an issue I am acutely aware of. I try to ask good questions as curricular activities are presented to the board, working to understand how we are challenging our gifted students as well, and calling out educators when the “added activities” are busy work and not a true expansion of learning. I am pleased that the busy work activities are happening less often and that the new educational focuses are expanding learning opportunities for all our students.

There is no single thing I would change, though I wish we had additional resources to provide more challenging opportunities for our gifted youth, in the classroom, out of classroom and through partnerships. As a school district and board, we use educational best practices to create new opportunities, including our partnership with Montana State University and others, but we can always do more. I hope I have answered your question, and am open to any further questions you might have.


Heide Arneson
Current Bozeman Trustee and Candidate

 From Gary Lusin:

Our current Long Range Strategic Plan has a major section of Personalized Learning and this is where the gifted program would fall.

Our efforts have been to improve the learning opportunities of all students, including the gifted students. Under that effort, and now with the effort we are putting forth relative to the Common Core, we are continually looking at ways to expand the opportunities for gifted students, as well as all other students.

With all of our programs our resources dictate much of what we can do and with the last legislative session providing at least some additional resources we may be able to expand offerings for gifted and other students. We are constantly looking for partnerships to expand programs and fortunately we live in a supportive community.

At this point I am not sure exactly what we could change, or how much we could change. I know for a fact that our board and district will continue to address the legislature, and our federal government for ways to provide the resources we can use wisely to expand the gifted program, as well as other programs. We have several unfunded mandates that, if adequately funded, could provide us the resources to expand the gifted program. The funding issue is complex and political, and will take time, but I can assure you our district, through our LRSP, does include the gifted program in our Personalized Learning goal and we will continue to do that on a yearly basis.

I suspect you have contact with someone in the district and hopefully that is helpful. Personally, I would love to expand many different educational opportunities for all of our students, including a challenging and productive path for gifted students.

I hope this is helpful. I will know the outcome of the election either Tuesday night or Wed and if I am re-elected to the board please let me know if you have other questions. Thank you.

Gary Lusin


New to Bozeman: Camp Invention

April 11, 2014

Camp InventionIt only took 20 years, but Bozeman will finally offer Camp Invention.  The Children’s Museum is sponsoring this fantastic week-long summer day camp, but it has been offered elsewhere in the USA for 2 decades and the curriculum is provided by the national organization.   If you have a creative kid, or one who like to take things apart to see how they work or build things, this camp will be right us his alley.  The inquiry-based approach fosters “whole systems” thinkers.  Children will learn how to think like inventors, problem-solve, collaborate, and create – while having tons of fun!

Each camper will participate in 4 different “modules” over the course of the week.  My favorite is  “I Can Invent: Pinbug”, where they take things apart and and use the pieces to create something new!

Sign your kids up now!

  • Register online by May 16 using the promo code SPRING to save $15!
  • Families that register 3 or more siblings will receive $50 off, per child.

Program Dates:     6/16 – 6/20/2014, 9:00 AM – 3:30 PM

Ages: children entering grades 1 – 6

Location:  202 South Willson Avenue (sponsored by Children’s Museum, but taking place katykorner in the Methodist Church)


Amplified®:  Grab your 3D laboratory glasses, embark on a bionic adventure, and unlock clues, which hold the key to acquiring superhuman senses. Invent bionic gadgets, encounter sensory illusions, and discover if you are a supertaster! Shoot information down zip-lines in a final high-speed challenge. Amplify your senses in this stimulating experience!

Super Go™:  Get revved up as you utilize nature’s blueprints to design your own, personalized, motor-powered vehicle that zooms on land and is prototyped to morph for underwater and sky-based navigation. Collect and spend energy coins on vehicle enhancements and fuel your engineering skills by building structures for the Super Go Road Rally!

Design Studio: Morphed!: Invent without limits as you design your own experience in this open studio. Tinker with circuits, and create prototypes utilizing features of nature. Engage in creative thinking exercises and thunderous Brainstorming sessions. Receive personalized invention challenges from National Inventors Hall of Fame Inductees, and a Collegiate Inventors Competition winner who began working on his invention in the sixth grade. Creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship, ignite!

I Can Invent: Pinbug: Take apart electronics and upcycle mechanical guts to build an epic, insect-themed pinball machine! Angle your way into Pinbug Machine physics, anatomy, and math by propelling the ball onto the playfield with the ultimate DIY launcher and anatomically inspired insect leg flippers. Rack up points and win the Pinbug Jackpot!

Children's Museum

College Counseling: What’s Your Destination?

March 22, 2014

Gallatin Gifted Group is happy to present an evening for parents of gifted children who are beginning to imagine the next steps in their child’s educational journey. Educational Consultant Stephen Michaud will be presenting practical advice on

  • timelines,
  • honors programs and selectivity,
  • how to stand out in the application pool, and
  • how you and your student can take charge of this exciting but daunting process.

Mr. Michaud has been counseling college-bound students since 1992; he runs a college counseling business in Bozeman, Family Pathways.

Please join us, and bring your questions! Your child is welcome.

College Counseling and the Gifted Students: What’s Your Destination?
Monday, May 19th
6:30 – 8:00 PM
Bozeman Public Library, Conference Room