Silver Bow Kiwanis

Silver Bow Kiwanis Kiwanis Club Meeting, Jan 24, '12

12:00-1:00 Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Larger map and driving directions

Butte Perkins
2900 Harrison Ave.
Butte, MT 59701

Jerry Williams with the Montana Police Protective Association was here as Keith's guest, and has submitted his paperwork to become a new member.

Adriana and Michaela from the Circle K were here. Adriana reminded us that the National Forensics League has their national debates February 10 and 11. They need judges, anyone who wants to volunteer is encouraged to email for more information or to volunteer. Judge training is at 6:30 on February 8 at the Butte High Commons.

Keith reminded us all that Midwinter Conference is scheduled for February 24-26 in Bozeman. More information is on the Montana District Kiwanis web site.

The service event at the Midwinter conference this year is "Stuff The Bus." Bring your gently used clothes to the convention - or get them to a member who is attending - and they will be donated to needy families and individuals.

Also, the district secretary, Mary, is asking for interest in the number of people who would be interested in getting Montana District Kiwanis license plates for their cars. There's a minimum of 200 needed to get the state to agree to print and carry them. 10 members in attendance indicated possible interest, if more information was available.

Shane then introduced Dr. Phil Curtiss to talk about how his company is working on boosting the Montana economy.

The company name, Siafu, is derived from the name of a variety of African plants that thrive in a variety of conditions and contribute to biodiversity.

The problem the Siafu is trying to address is the shortage of hi-tech employees. They are working with Montana Tech to start classes that will be offered at all campuses in the Montana University System, with different courses being taught from different campuses, but being available to all Montana University students through distance learning systems already in place.

This is a 5-7 year project is looking forward to train the coming generation of workers in complex problem solving skills and integrated thinking. This should develop a stronger workforce more able to apply new solutions and new technology to various problems.

Currently they are focusing on high tech aspects of existing industries like agriculture, mining, and forestry, which are traditional core industries in Montana.

Using data mining technology with workers who are able to think between the complex aspects of the available information and the problems at hand will help farmers, mining companies, and other industries compete more effectively and increase productivity. This is why it is so important to teach students how to think between different aspects of the problems.

One of the problems with economic development along these lines is how to measure them. The most obvious metric is the number of jobs created, and this is easy to report and easy to understand. Siafu is working with researchers to understand other aspects of economic impact and growth, and how to report and understand those.

Dr. Phil Curtiss with Siafu
Chicken Strips and Fries
Event Updated
7:50 Tuesday, January 24, 2012