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Big Brothers Big Sisters recruiting mentors in Big Sky


Big Brothers Big Sisters of Gallatin County is currently working on a campaign to recruit new mentors in Big Sky. The agency recruits, screens and matches caring adult mentors, called Big Brothers and Big Sisters or “Bigs,” with children facing adversity, called Little Brothers and Little Sisters or “Littles.”

The goal of this recruitment campaign is to reach at least five new Bigs in Big Sky, enrolling them in the program and matching them very carefully and conscientiously with a child.

Bigs and Littles spend one to two hours a week together, doing activities they both enjoy. BBBS staff support matches with regular phone calls, activity ideas and optional monthly outings.

“Some weeks, a Big and Little might go to the park and kick a soccer ball around. Another week, they might get ice cream together. It really depends on their own interests,” said Megan Cummings, chief operating officer of BBBS.

Matches are long-term, professionally-supported, one-to-one mentoring relationships that pair adults with children facing many different forms of adversity.

“Nationwide, there’s a misperception that BBBS focuses only on low-income children, or only on children with a specific background,” Cummings said. “The reality is that some of our Littles do face particularly intense adversity, but there are no income qualifiers to enroll, and the kids in our program come from all walks of life. Each one needs another caring adult in his or her life. We used a tagline a couple years back: ‘We need all kinds of Bigs for all kinds of Kids.’ That is absolutely still the case.”

To learn more about Big Brothers Big Sisters, call (406) 855-6544 or visit

Four Ophir sixth-graders nominated for national science competition

EBS Staff

BIG SKY – Two teams of Ophir sixth-grade students have been nominated to apply to a Broadcom MASTERS (Math, Applied Science, Technology and Engineering for Rising Stars) program, a national science competition based in Washington D.C.

“Less than 10 percent of the middle school science projects in the country get nominated to apply for Broadcom, so just getting nominated is kind of a big deal,” said Ben Saad’s mother Laura Sacchi.

Saad and his partner Max Romney took their project to the state science fair in Missoula on March 27, where they took home first place. Their project focused on the effect of natural light versus LED light for plant growth.

They found green bean plants exposed to LED light grew faster than those growing in natural light. “We think it’s because [with] the LED light, plants get the perfect amount of light that they need to grow,” Romney said.

He said the project was inspired by the horticulture endeavors of Jeff Saad, Ben’s father. “He wanted to know if LED really affected a plant’s growth because he was about to start using LED lights [for the greenhouse in his home],” Romney said.

Another sixth-grade team was nominated for participation in the Broadcom competition. Maddie Cohn and Skylar Manka’s science teacher Kate Eisele said their project focused on how cell phones interfere with avalanche beacon searches.

Eisele said they found that the closer a person’s beacon is to their cell phone, the greater interference there was from the phone, and the longer a beacon search took.

Self-driving cars and eclipse balloons at Museum of the Rockies


Astronomy and Aerospace Day, an afternoon of astronomy- and aerospace-related events for kids and adults, will be held from 1-4 p.m. Sunday, April 9, at the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman.

The event will include talks by the head of the Montana Space Grant Consortium and a former NASA engineer currently working on a self-driving car initiative. Both are alumni of Montana State University.

Angela Des Jardins, director of Montana Space Grant Consortium, will begin the afternoon presentations at 1 p.m. in the Hager Auditorium. Des Jardins will talk about the National Eclipse Ballooning Project, which will launch high-altitude balloons on Aug. 21 as the solar eclipse crosses North America. Des Jardins noted that never before has live video been streamed from near space during an eclipse.

At 3 p.m., Jaime Waydo, a 2000 graduate of the MSU College of Engineering who formerly worked on NASA’s Curiosity Rover that went to Mars, will discuss her current work on Waymo’s self-driving car program. The project uses technology developed in Google’s labs to reshape some of the 10 trillion miles that motor vehicles travel around the world every year, with safer, more efficient and more accessible forms of transport.

Exhibits in the main lobby will feature activities and exhibits from the Extreme Gravity Institute, Helena’s ExplorationWorks and the Montana Department of Aviation, as well as other businesses, clubs and organizations. Kids’ activities and planetarium shows will take place throughout the afternoon.

Visit for more information.

Big Sky Resort hires new vice president of business development


Big Sky Resort hired Bob Stinchcomb as its new vice president of business development beginning April 10.

Stinchcomb has worked 20 years in the ski industry with most of that time at Vail Resorts, recently serving as Vail’s vice president of business development. Stinchcomb brings with him a variety of knowledge and experience in business development, particularly in the areas of international marketing, channel management, strategic partnerships, contact center management and sales.

Stinchcomb also served as president of RGS Consulting, whose clients include Squaw Valley and Ski USA Vacations. He served several years on the Colorado Tourism Office Board of Directors, and stepped in to serve as the organization’s interim director for a time.

“We are thrilled to bring Bob’s expertise in business development to Big Sky Resort,” said Taylor Middleton, Big Sky Resort general manager. “We’re excited to utilize his skills and bring another voice to the table to help Big Sky Resort grow effectively and responsibly.”

In August, Big Sky Resort announced “Big Sky 2025,” a 10-year vision to invest $150 million in on-mountain improvements. Stinchcomb’s experience leading transformative resort growth and activating innovative sales strategies during major capital expansions will be a significant asset in helping execute Big Sky 2025.

“I am very excited to join Big Sky and Boyne Resorts,” Stinchcomb said. “It is clear to me that Big Sky has a tremendous opportunity to continue its premier position in the market, and provide one of the best ski resort experiences in North America. The recently announced 2025 capital improvement plan is a strong commitment in making Big Sky a market leader, and I look forward to joining the team in this renaissance.”

Stinchcomb will oversee Big Sky Resort’s sales and marketing departments and additionally support business development initiatives at Boyne’s 12 other resort properties.

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