HAMILTON – The University of Montana’s We Are Montana in the Classroom initiative will lead a “Role Models Matter” professional development workshop on Thursday, Feb. 23, in Hamilton. The workshop is designed to prepare Bitterroot professionals to inspire K-12 students about their career pathways.
The free professional development workshop, which is fully booked, will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Taste of Paris, located at 109 N. Fourth St. in Hamilton. Based on curriculum developed by Techbridge, a national leader in inspiring girls about STEM through role-model engagement, the workshop prepares professionals from all workforce sectors to lead hands-on activities with K-12 students and share their personal stories about their educational and career experiences.
Participants include over 30 professionals in the science, technology, entrepreneurship and math related fields from Rocky Mountain Laboratories, GSK, Bitterroot National Forest, Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital, Ravalli County and other Bitterroot businesses and organizations. Following the workshop, We Are Montana in the Classroom will partner with Bitterroot schools and community organizations to place role models in classrooms, after-school clubs and community events.
As part of the UM Broader Impacts Group, We Are Montana in the Classroom engages over 10,000 K-12 students each year with role models from the University and local communities. With a grant from the Martin Family Foundation, the Broader Impacts Group, including its spectrUM Discovery Area, is currently partnering with a Bitterroot community advisory group and Hamilton and Corvallis schools to co-create learning experiences that align with real workforce needs and strengths in the Bitterroot.
According to Broader Impacts Group and spectrUM Director Holly Truitt, “BIG is excited to be linking arms with K-12 schools, businesses, community organizations and private foundations such as the Martin Family Foundation and the Jane S. Heman Foundation to do powerful, collective-impact work designed to close opportunity and achievement gaps for Bitterroot children. Building community capacity for role-model engagement is a crucial step in inspiring the next generation about the bright futures that await them in the work force.”
With the Bitterroot community advisory group, We Are Montana in the Classroom is also building a database of local role models available for schools and youth organizations to book in their classrooms or programming. For more information call Truitt at 406-243-4872 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.