Target Range student project gets help from Mayor Engen - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

Target Range student project gets help from Mayor Engen

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MISSOULA -

At Missoula's Target Range School, eighth graders are taking a hands-on approach to learning about city government and even got some help from a special guest.      

The project started with a book, Yellow Fever 1793It told the story of the 1793 epidemic and how it wiped out 10 percent of the city of Philadelphia’s population. 

After they read the book, teacher Tamara Hatch planned a mock city council meeting to help her students better understand the story.

"In the mock city council, we have a mayor, student council members, and then all kinds of specialists. We have a geneticist, entomologist, and people like Greenpeace and Earth Justice,” Hatch said.

Students were given a pretend scenario: a mosquito virus outbreak in Missoula.

The students' assignment is to decide how the city will respond to protect residents.

"Learning to look at a problem and look at all the sides of the problem. And try to come up with solutions,” said Hatch.

 To come up with a solution, the students got to call in some experts. Mayor John Engen and Missoula City-County Health Department workers were on standby for the students to ask questions.

Engen said he was happy to participate in this mock scenario and provide guidance. He said students are learning important skills they can use in the real world.

"The lesson gets applied. It's a question whether you can convince another person to do something that you want them to do," Engen said. "So what these folks are learning here makes a difference in their lives."

Kallie Godina, who served as the mock mayor, couldn't agree more.

"There's a lot of things I didn't realize how much the mayor has to take on," Godina said. "[Being] charge of the city and making such critical decisions."

Now it will be up to Kallie and her fellow students to make their own critical decision.

The students are still collecting information before they'll hold their mock city council meeting.

Their teacher Tamara Hatch said they'll take on that outbreak scenario in about a week.

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