It's like a science fair on steroids. The annual Montana Science Olympiad is now accepting registrations from middle school and high school students. The April 7th event will be hosted by Montana State University, but will be on-line this year.

The STEM acronym stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Those topics determine the entries in one of the longest-running student science events in the state. This year, for instance, organizers are looking at digital design and a rubber-band powered helicopter.

Entries can range from astronomy, engineering and other sciences in a dozen events, organizers said in a recent news release. Suzi Taylor, MSU Science Math Resource Center director, said, "We're really excited that we can hold a tournament for the students. Even though it's not exactly what they're used to, the students count on it, the teachers count on it and they're fired up to do it."

The teams must be affiliated with a school and the coaches don't have to be teachers. Interested adults from the community can provide valuable insights. A good bit of news - the entry fee has been lowered this year because it is online and not at the MSU campus. The winners will be given their awards at an online ceremony and can go on to the national Science Olympiad in May. Teams need to check the rules and other information at the Montana Science Olympiad website and register before March 15. Time is running out!

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