IEFA Spring Institute 2019

May 3, 2019

- hosted by SWMSS and the Museum of the Rockies -

Join us at the Museum of the Rockies for a full day of professional learning with educators from across the region. Facilitated by IEFA specialists Kim Quigley and Shane Doyle, this day of learning is FREE for all Montana school districts.

When:         May 3, 2019 (8:30 to 3:30 with optional time to tour the MOR after the Institute.)

Where:         Museum of the Rockies, Bozeman, MT (600 W. Kagy Blvd, Bozeman, MT 59717)

What:                 Choose two of the IEFA workshop sessions listed below.

Why Attend?

  • Learn ways to engage students through IEFA integration. NEW topics and strategies!
  • Gain new ideas and resources with TIME to review and discuss implementation with other educators and IEFA specialists.  
  • Enjoy a Planetarium show, learning ways to incorporate IEFA and Montana Skies
  • Receive 7 OPI Renewal Units for attending the institute.
  • It’s FREE, paid for by the SWMSS IEFA OPI grant. We also have a limited amount of funds to cover the costs of substitute teachers.  


MORNING...choose one of the following:

Explore our new Bison Trunk (Grades K-12) 8:30 to 11:30

Dr. Shane Doyle will present a newly produced Bison Trunk, sponsored by the Museum of the Rockies and Montana OPI. Doyle will display and describe the contents of the trunk, which includes a dozen procured bison tools and books, as well as new lesson plans designed to engage, inform and inspire students. The learning experience promises to provide learners with a more comprehensive understanding of the history and contemporary status of bison and the ecological and cultural role that they have played on the Northern Plains.  

Developing Questions & Planning Inquiries Using IEFA Resources (Grades 2-12) 8:30 to 11:30

Analyze, discuss, compare and contrast using visual thinking strategies to plan inquiry lessons using IEFA Primary resources as well as fiction and non-fiction books. Help your students ask their own questions based on primary documents (DBQ).  You will have the opportunity to explore IEFA Primary sources (Museum of the Rockies Photo Archive and Native Knowledge 360) and the Leveled IEFA book Database as you develop your grade specific curriculum. As inquiry-based approaches to social studies become more prominent, all levels of education are finding this method useful for teaching critical thinking.

AFTERNOON...choose one of the following:


MONTANA SKIES Crow Astronomy (Grades 3-8) 12:30 to 3:30

You will have an opportunity to review Montana Skies StarLab curriculum including Crow and Blackfeet Astronomy.

Cultural Connections

Thousands of years before Europeans knew about the land we now call America, Native peoples with rich cultures were living here. Such was the case of the Apsáalooke people, now known as the Crow people, who had as keen an understanding of the heavens as did the Greeks, Romans, and many early astronomers. The Crow people had names and stories for the Sun and Moon, the visible planets, prominent stars and star groups. Today, Crow knowledge of the sky continues to be passed from one generation to the next. Sky Beings are present in the everyday life of the Crow people who live with, rather than under, the sky.  

So old is Blackfeet astronomy that the sun, moon, and stars have a place in the memory and sacred ceremonies of the Blackfeet people who can predict when various sky beings will appear. Tis familiarity with the sky serves to build a sense of place and beauty for the Blackfeet people not just in Montana, but in all the universe.

Science Connection 

The arts and hands-on activities are designed to further and deepen the students’ understanding of the science phenomena referred to in each of the three teaching units.


Morning coffee and a continental breakfast plus a delicious lunch

are included in your FREE registration.  

A portion of the IEFA grant budget may be used to cover substitute teacher costs (first come first served basis).

Space is limited! REGISTER NOW to reserve your spot:

Please contact us with questions!

Kim Quigley, IEFA Educational Consultant  |  |  406-539-3521

Melissa Tovaas, Co-Director of Education Services  |  |  646-831-7264