History of the Montana Science Olympiad

The first Montana Science Olympiad competition was held on the MSU campus October 15, 1985. Ten events were offered for both divisions: Science Bowl, Pentathlon, Fermi Questions, Titration Race, Rocks to Riches, Qualitative analysis, Password, Facts in Five, Paper Airplane, and Orienteering.

Teams from 17 school districts competed in the first Science Olympiad with seven junior high and thirteen high schools. The schools participating in the junior high division included: Bozeman, Florence-Carlton, Manhattan, Monforton, Poplar, St. Labre Catholic Indian School, and Willson Middle School. The high school division was made up of thirteen schools: Bozeman, Capital, Dawson County, Drummond, Florence-Carlton, Hellgate, Manhattan, Poplar, Sentinel, Sidney, St. Labre Catholic Indian School, Sunburst, and Whitehall. Student participants numbered just under 300.

The top teams in the First Montana Science Olympiad were: Division B--Florence-Carlton Junior High School, Bozeman Junior High School, and Willson Middle School of Bozeman; Division C--Bozeman High, Hellgate High and Sentinel High. The first place teams for each division competed in the National Competition at East Lansing, Michigan on May 16 and 17. Beginning in 1988, a small school champion trophy was awarded in both divisions.

Previous State Competition Winners: 1985-2018

Division B - Middle School
B - Small School
Division C - High School
C - Small School
 1985  Florence - Carlton    Bozeman  
 1986  Bozeman    Helena  
 1987  Bozeman   Helena   
 1988 Bozeman   Monforton Helena  Sunburst 
1989  Big Timber  Boulder   Helena Big Sandy 
 1990 Bozeman  Bonner  Sentinel  Manhattan Christian 
 1991 Big Timber   Florence - Carlton  Bozeman Florence - Carlton 
 1992 Big Timber    Bozeman   
1993  Big Timber  Gallatin Home School  Bozeman  Manhattan Christian 
1994  Big Timber   Big Sandy Bozeman  Manhattan Christian 
 1995 Big Timber  Big Sandy  Bozeman  Big Sandy 
1996 Big Timber  Big Sandy  Bozeman  Valier 
1997 Valier Clancy Valier Big Sandy & Manhattan
 1998  Big Timber Clancy   Valier Big Sandy 
 1999  Sacajawea Valier   Valier Fairfield 
2000  Big Timber   Fairfield Valier   Sunburst
 2001 Big Timber   Absarokee  Lewistown Big Sandy 
2002  Big Sandy  Fairfield  Bozeman  Carter County 
2003   Big Timber Clancy  Sidney   Sunburst
2004 Big Timber Clancy Fergus Sunburst
2005 Big Timber Valier Big Sandy Carter County
2006 Big Timber Big Sandy Fergus Sunburst
2007 Big Timber Roosevelt Fergus Carter County
2008 CR Anderson Clancy Helena Sunburst
2009 Big Timber Roosevelt Helena Sunburst
2010 Corvallis Thompson Falls Helena Sunburst
2011 Clancy Roosevelt Thompson Falls Sunburst
2012 Corvallis Big Sandy Billings Central Thompson Falls
2013 Corvallis Big Sandy Helena North Toole
2014  Corvallis Absarokee  Fergus  Culbertson 
2015 Corvallis Roosevelt Hamilton North Toole County



TIE: Roosevelt Middle School

AND Absarokee Junior High School

Helena Culbertson


CR Anderson


Helena Culbertson




Hamilton Culbertson

2013 Montana Science Olympiad!!

December 5 2013

Eggs falling from great heights? Unraveling a mysterious disease? Launching gliders? All of this happened at the annual 2013 Montana Science Olympiad hosted by MSU’s Science Math Resource Center on Tuesday, November 26, at MSU-Bozeman campus.

2013 Science OlympiadRoughly 1,400 students from 94 middle and high schools throughout Montana participated in the 2013 Montana’s Science Olympiad. The competition included twenty eight events related to science or engineering such as: building a cantilevered structure, identifying insects, constructing magnetically-levitated vehicles, identifying rocks and determining mineral hardness, and data analyses using the principles of genetics. Teams competed in either middle or high school division events, and the winning team of each division has the opportunity to participate in the national tournament, to be held on May 16-17, 2014 in Orlando, Florida.

This year, thanks to donations from members of the Bozeman community and the Montana Science Olympiad, the auditorium of the closing ceremony trembled with roars of joy when winning teams received $1,500 each to help with the expenses required to journey to Nationals. In addition, second-place teams received a gift from the Montana Space Grant Consortium (MSGC) to attend the 2014 MSGC Student Research Symposium to be held on Monday April 7, 2014 at MSU-Bozeman.

The Montana Science Olympiad is much more than a competition; it is an invitation to be immersed in the world of science and engineering in a fun and engaging way! A Fun Night launches the Montana Science Olympiad on the Monday evening prior to the tournament at the Museum of the Rockies. This year, 553 participants, including Olympians, coaches, and parents from 28 different schools in Montana, consumed 831 square feet of pizza, engaged with presenters and participated in activities.Thanks to Angela Weikert –Museum of the Rockies Education Director- and presenters, Montana Science Olympiad participants celebrated science with magic, Planetarium shows, live animals, hands-on activities, and impressive demonstrations of robotics, space engineering, architecture, anthropology, astronomy, and chemistry. The exhibits were open to the public, and as a parent said “ MOR is better than the Smithsonian museums in D.C.” in regards to the quality of the exhibits and programs.

At the 2013 Montana Science Olympiad, Olympians, coaches and parents had the chance to attend some of the 14 talks and tours that showcased cutting-edge research at Montana State University. Subzero Lab, High Altitude Balloon Lab, and Neuroscience Lab tours were packed with public eager to visit the facilities that make it possible to reach new frontiers. The physics of skis, sustainable agriculture, MSU Everest Expedition, honey bees, NASA’s new solar missions, how to train your robot, and turning scientists into filmmakers were some of the many talks that the audience enjoyed.

All of the activities, presentations, and events of Montana Science Olympiad resulted from the collective effort of about 100 volunteer MSU faculty, students and Bozeman community members. Their efforts plus the committed work of the Science Math Resource Center staff including: Bruna Irene Grimberg, Montana Science Olympiad State Director, Kiley Eversole, Montana Science Olympiad Coordinator, Jesse Hunter, Montana Science Olympiad Administrative Coordinator, Annie Mollock, Science Math Resource Center Administrator, and Sarah Hendrikx, Science Math Resource Center Data Analyst made this year’s Olympiad a great success.

Thank you Bozeman and MSU communities for your dedication and passion, it really makes a difference in the future of Montana and our kids!