By Tim Leeds
The Hagener Science Center turned over three rooms to high school and middle school students for the Hi-Line Science and Engineering Fair yesterday.
Students from 15 schools brought in projects for judging at the competition. The competition was divided into two levels, with students from grades 9-12 in division I and students from grades 5-8 in division II. The students in Division II were further divided by grade level.
Division I had 44 students from nine schools competing, and Division II had 271 students from 14 schools competing. Winners from the Hi-Line regional fair will advance to compete at the State Science Fair in Missoula.
The students' projects were highly varied. Entries from Division I included projects in biochemistry, behavioral and social science, botany, physics, computer science, and microbiology, as well as other . The entries in Division II were divided into physical sciences and biological sciences.
Tammy Aipperspach from the Chinook Junior High said competing at the fair was fun, although it took a lot of hard work.
"It was really fun," she said. "It didn't take half as long as it did last year. The judges were really nice."
Andrew Hayes, also from Chinook Junior High, said, "It's really a great thing, once you get down and do a lot of hard work on it."
"I think the people we're up against worked pretty hard," said Shae Wilemon of Outlook School, "but we got lucky and pulled it off."
"I can't wait 'til Missoula," said Bridget Clawson, also from Outlook.
Ashley Haley from Box Elder Middle School said it was fun, and she enjoyed seeing her friends from other schools at the fair.
Teresa Romo, seventh- and eighth-grade science teacher at Wolf Point, said she likes to see an academic like this offered to the students.
"I think they've got a lot of good projects here," she said. "There's been a lot of hard work put in."
Josephine Corcoran, principal at Rocky Boy Junior High, said, "It's a good opportunity for the kids to view other kids' projects and ideas."
Trygve Magelssen, a judge at the competition, said, "I'm really impressed. Some of these kids can give a great presentation. The projects are really intriguing."
The fair was sponsored by the Montana Power Company, the Dennis Washington Foundation and Montana State University-Northern.
The fair's steering committee members were Fred Seidensticker, director of the Golden Triangle Curriculum Cooperative; Dr. Reno Parker, professor at MSU-Northern; John Kandelin, division I director at MSU-Northern;
and Matt Antonich, Division II Director at Rocky Boy Schools.
Awards for the fair are sponsored by the American Meteorological Society, the Association for Women Geoscientists, Conservation International, Eastman Kodak Company, Herbert Hoover Young Engineer Award, Intel, Montana Organization for Research in Energy, the National Association of Corrosion Engineers International, The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the Society for In Vitro Biology, The U.S. Army, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Metric Association, The U.S. Navy/U.S. Marines, the Water Environment Federation, the Yale Science and Engineering Association, the the Young Scientist Challenge (Discovery 2000).