Mini Society: Youth education

After school program - Mini Society:
Eighteen students between 4th and 5th grade attended Mini Society. The
curriculum was developed by Marilyn L. Kourilsky and the Center for
Entrepreneurial Leadership Inc. for youth empowerment and self
sufficiency. Students learned business development, management,
competition, supply/demand, checking account operation, scarcity, and
advertising, as well as running town council meetings. Students created
their own flag and currency. They developed an agenda, held meetings,
used parliamentary procedure, managed payroll, and handled their own
adversities with little direction from adults. Students used critical
thinking to solve problems. Students discussed and worked through
running out of money and treasurer absenteeism. Over the course of ten
weeks, students grew in their understanding of business practices and
business management. Students began to show an increase in
understanding of basic meeting principles. Students worked through cash
flow problems, partnerships, niche marketing, and competition.

Calculating AUMs with 7th Grade: Occasionally I get calls from
local schools. In October I talked with 60 - 7th graders about land use
planning. We talked about land use planning on several scales, from
global to local. I had them work through the MSU AUM Analyzer,
comparing cuttings between a healthy pasture--weedy pasture and
calculating AUMs for both. Then they made land use decisions based on
their results from a rancher perspective.

River Honoring 2006 - riparian education:
Fourth and Fifth graders from Polson, Ronan, Pablo, Hot Springs,
Charlo, Dixon, Camas Prairie, St. Ignatius, and even Missoula attend
the annual CSKT River Honoring with 20 stations. Over two days I spoke
to approximately 325 youth from all over the valley. We ask the kids to
compare and contrast two streams. We have one healthy, somewhat natural
looking stream versus one denuded and over grazed stream. We ask a lot
of questions about differences in the shape of the streams, the depth,
width, vegetation, debris, and temperature. I tried to get the kids to
come up with all the differences on their own. We asked them what
stream they would prefer if they were a fish and why. We talk about
sediments, nutrients, lack of oxygen, and food webs. We have them make
predictions about stream flows and then we turn on the water facets and
watch how erosion works. After they understand the stream quality,
shape, etc, we ask them to split into two groups and bioengineer/design
their own stream -- all in a half an hour! Whew!

Contact Information

Rene Kittle

Extension Educator
(406) 675-2700
(406) 675-2035

P.O. Box 335,
Montana State University,
Pablo, MT 59865

Extension program image
Flathead Mini Society