Absarokee Schools shine at annual Montana Science Olympiad

Doreen Stockdale
Thursday, December 5, 2019
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Photos by Catherine Frazer

The Absarokee Junior High team, from the left: Back row - Logan Young, Tandy Planichek, Keagan Sandlin, Aubrey Winter, Shayla Russell and Isaac Richardson. Front row - Nila Dawson, Jamie Tucker, Allison Howes, Amber Peterson, Callen Gunderson, Caleb Zeigler and Dillon Ferster. (Not pictured is Tom Murphy).

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Photos by Catherine Frazer

The Absarokee High School team, from the left: Back row - Emily Routen, Haley Richardson, MeKayla Walton and Adree Langley. Front row - Kaiya Holmquist, William Andonian, Tymber Jensen, Maggie Howes, Claire Hatch and Dalton Helmuth. (Not pictured are Brent Kelley, Dawson Lester and MaKenzie Walton).

For the fourth year-in-a-row, Absarokee Middle School (AMS) was named the Top Small School in Division B (grades 6-9) at the 35th annual Montana Science Olympiad, held at Montana State University.

Science Olympiad is a competition in which students in grades six through 12 compete in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) challenges.

According to the competition’s website their website, Science Olympiad is an international non-profit organization devoted to improving the quality of science education, increasing student interest in science and providing recognition for outstanding achievement in science education by both students and teachers.  

AMS finished in 5th place, and the Absarokee High School (HS) team placed 15th. Around 1,400 Montana students from 63 middle schools and 57 high schools competed. The AMS team is now eligible to enter the national competition in Raleigh, N.C.

Students competed in 14 different categories:

•Water Quality (AMS team second, HS team sixth)

•Fossils (HS team second, AMS team fifth)

•Write it, Do it (HS team third, AMS team 11th)

•Astronomy (HS sixth)

•Food Science (AMS team eighth)

•Geologic Mapping (HS team 10th)

•Heredity (AMS team placed 11th)

•Reach for the Stars (AMS team 12th)

•Mousetrap Vehicle (AMS team 12th)

•Anatomy and Physiology (HS team 13th)

•Meteorology (AMS team 14th)

•Boomilever (AMS team 14th)

•Chemistry Lab (HS team 15th)

•Sounds in Music (HS team 15th).

Absarokee Middle School team members are Nila Dawson, Dillon Ferster, Callen Gunderson, Allison Howes, Tom Murphy, Amber Peterson, Tandy Planichek, Isaac Richardson, Shayla Russell, Keagan Sandlin, Jamie Tucker, Aubrey Winter, Logan Young and Caleb Zeigler.

Absarokee High School team members are William Andonian, Claire Hatch, Dalton Helmuth, Kaiya Holmquist, Maggie Howes, Tymber Jensen, Brent Kelley, Adree Langley, Dawson Lester, Haley Richardson, Emily Routen, MeKayla Walton and MaKenzie Walton.

“We are extremely proud of the performance of our junior high and high school science students at the recent Montana Science Olympiad,” said Absarokee Principal Tim Zumbrun. “Ms. Catherine Frazer (junior high science teacher) and Mr. Chris Gunderson (high school science teacher), as well as our students, put a lot of time and effort into this program and represent our school very well. We are very proud of our students and staff for representing our school and community so well at this annual  event.”