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Montana Tech Science Fair Winner Competes in STEM Competition


Montana Tech Kids’ College Alumnus and Montana Tech Regional Science & Engineering Fair award winner Seamus Hoolahan, son of Shaun and Patrice Hoolahan of Opportunity, Montana, was chosen as one of 30 finalists from over 6,000 nominees to compete in the Broadcom Master's middle school STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) competition in Washington DC last October. For his science fair project, Seamus and his partner built a multi-stage Gauss rifle combining the principles of magnetic attraction and kinetic energy transfer to launch a projectile. Kehli K. Hazlett, Science Fair Director and Outreach Program Coordinator for Kids’ College said, “Seamus has been an extraordinary student in both our Kids’ College Program and the Science & Engineering Fair.  We, the Institute for Educational Opportunities, are very proud of what he has accomplished so far and look forward to what he will do with his future.”  Along with his honors nationally, “he will be congratulated locally at our coming Regional Science & Engineering Fair in March” states Hazlett.

Montana Tech Regional Science & Engineering Fair stimulates an active student interest in science and engineering, provides an exceptional experience for students through exposure to professional level judges, provides public recognition of talented students for their independent research efforts, and increased public awareness of the importance of science education in our society. Over 650 Southwestern Montana students participate in the Tech fair annually.
Competitive science fair programs are a critical first element in presenting to students in grades 5 through 12 the opportunities and excitement present in science and engineering careers.  The key to the success of these fairs is instilling in students a feeling of accomplishment and peer connection to their fellow competitors. To ensure that each of our participating students has a quality experience, the fair must recruit over 200 judges to visit one on one with the students regarding their research.  On Monday, March 3rd, judging is a half-day commitment, 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM for elementary students or 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM for junior high students.  On Tuesday, March 11th, judges will be needed from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM to judge the high school fair and require an advanced degree.  If you can contribute three hours or more on Monday, March 3rd or Tuesday, March 11th toward this worthwhile cause, please contact Bernie Phelps, Judges Chair, at 496.4565 or bphelps@mtech.edu.

To learn more about Montana Tech’s Kids’ College and Regional Science & Engineering Fair, please visit the Institute for Educational Opportunities website at http://institute.mtech.edu/ or contact Kehli K. Hazlett at 406.496.4691 or at KHazlett@mtech.edu.

While in Washington DC, Seamus and the other finalists from across the country were divided into six teams of five members each, which Seamus’ team won the team award. The highlight of Seamus' trip was getting to meet President Obama, who honored the finalists with a personal tour of the Oval Office.

For more information, please contact Kehli K. Hazlett at 406-496-4691.