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MSU Billings Science Expo inspires students across Montana

Science Expo.jpg
Posted at 10:27 PM, Mar 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-19 13:54:28-04

Students from 24 counties brought their science projects to the 34th annual MSU Billings Science Expo Friday.

After years at Alterowitz Gym, the expo came to the renovated science building.

It's a chance for the young scientists to see the new classrooms and get science inspiration.

The Atomic Circus featured liquid nitrogen at minus 320 degrees Fahrenheit.

That's just one of the lessons learned at the science expo, and it also happens to be part of one student's science project.

"I dipped foods and liquid nitrogen to see how they would change and to see if the tastes would be different," said Chael Roberts, an Absarokee sixth grader.

"Different designs about Pinewood Derby cars to see what different effects on cars would give like, great outcomes," said August Baker, also an Absarokee sixth grader.

Students also shared how they would sell their projects to the judges.

"The food changed for the better, I thought," Roberts said. "Some foods were so hard I couldn't even try them. But most of them I was able to try."

"The one with the graphite wheels was apparently was apparently the fastest, unlike what I believed, which would be the weights in the back," Baker said.

And the professors at MSUB can already see some of the knowledge the young scientists have acquired.

"Some of those kids are so smart that it within 20 seconds of talking to them, you know it came from the kid," said Dr. Daniel Willems, MSUB assistant professor. "Lots of participation from all kinds of different grade levels."

Williams is the director of the expo and has a passion for teaching students of all ages.

"We capture these kids' attention now, they follow through with that for a long time," Willems said.

Best of all, some students may have already found some inspiration for their future careers.

"Pretty interested in, like, animal science," Roberts said.

"I think I do want to eventually be an engineer for like NASA or the Army or something," Baker said.

For now, they'll get some excitement at the science expo.

Judges will choose one student for the state science fair in Missoula on March 28 and one for the International Science and Engineering Fair in Atlanta from May 7-13.

Awards will be given on Saturday.