Scores of middle school and high school teams recently participated in the state Science Olympiad tournament, held each year at Montana State University. In the high school division, the team from Choteau High School took top honors in the Small Schools category.
I sat down with Choteau’s Ruby Herman, Jackson Quillan, Ella Birkeland, Victoria Newmiller, and Savannah Stanek to discuss the competition and all the prep that went into taking home the top prize.
“We spent like a month or so, give or take… it was a design phase, it was a testing phase, and it was a studying phase if one of your events was a test," said Quillan.
Each student was given the opportunity to pick which three or four events they wanted to participate in - an easy task for most of the team as this was their second time attending the event.
However, Birkeland ran into some challenges as the newest member of the team: “There were some times where I was really confused, especially building the scrambler. That took some effort.”
The weekend also provided the students with a welcoming mixer to bond with their peers over their mutual interest in the STEM field.
The event was hosted at the Museum of the Rockies where they interacted with other Montana high school and middle school students.
Choteau’s 7-12 grade science teachers Becca Dellwo and Rachael Newmiller could not be more proud of their students and all their accomplishments.
The community of Choteau has been a big support to the students and the program.
“In the last couple years, I think the interest has grown in the science area. We have administration currently that has been very supportive of making sure the program is funded,” said Rachael.
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