Fergus High Science Olympiad team takes third at State

Kayla Irish

Members of the Fergus High School Science Olympiad team that finished third at the state competition in Bozeman are (front row, from left) Greg Fulbright, Jonathan Chen, Emily Eckhardt (middle row) Nick Sweeney, Jarrod Russell, Chase Farrar, Amanda Sweeney, (back row) Megan Sweeney, Kayla Irish, Jacob Miller, Ethan Day, Isiah Kolar, Jaden Schultz, Paige Myers and Cooper Bruchez.

Photo courtesy of Mike Mangold


On Nov. 22 the Fergus High Science Olympiad team traveled to Bozeman to compete at the state event. Fergus competed against 47 teams and took third place with a total of 127 points.

In the 14 events, nine FHS students placed in the top five.

Jonathan Chen and Ethan Day placed sixth in the optic event.

In an interview, Jonathan Chen described the event, “I spent hours researching optics: lasers, lenses, and mirrors. I learned a lot about it. We ended up doing pretty well for a new event.”

Chen also participated in forensics with Emily Eckhardt. The twosome placing fourth in the event. He described the event to be quite enjoyable, as the event involved solving a crime scene and following a series of tests to identify unknown substances.

In another event, ecology, Kayla Irish and Paige Myers placed fourth. The test involved answering specific questions about invasive species and a few different biomes.

In the astronomy event, Irish and Jaden Schultz placed third. This year’s test was about White Dwarfs and Type Ia Supernovas.

Chen and Jarrod Russell placed third in robot arm, which involved building a robotic structure and using it to score points. Greg Fulbright and Isaiah Kolar placed third in the helicopters event Kolar said that the helicopter got stuck in the walkway, but the flights went well regardless of the “bad endings.”

Wind Power was another event and Fergus students Nicholas Sweeney and Russell placed third.

Sweeney commented on the entire team’s effort: “I really enjoyed how we all worked together as a team.”

Sweeney also participated with Chase Farrar in materials Science and placed third.

Sweeny and Myers placed second in invasive species. The event involved research about Montana noxious weeds and national aquatic animals and plants.

A team consisting of Irish and Amanda Sweeney were able to become state champions of the rocks and minerals event this year.

“We were incredibly excited and surprised about winning,” Irish said. “We both set aside a lot of time to study everything and worked really well together during the competition.”

Irish and Sweeney had to study 96 different types of rocks and minerals and identified specimens during the test.


Other events in which Fergus students placed are:

Game On, 10th, Cooper Bruchez and Day

Anatomy and Physiology, 19th, Eckhardt and Amanda Sweeney

Write It Do It, 31st, Chase Farrar and Jacob Miller

Experimental Design, 35th, Megan Sweeney, Jacob Miller, and Cooper Bruchez.



Where is your favorite place to go camping in Central Montana?