BOZEMAN — Registration is now open for the Montana Science Olympiad, one of the state’s largest and longest-running science competitions for youth. The event will be held Tuesday, Nov. 26, at Montana State University in Bozeman.

Students from Roundup High School prepare their Rube Goldberg machine for the Mission Possible competition as part of the 34th Annual Montana Science Olympiad, Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2018, hosted at Montana State University in Bozeman, Mont. (MSU Photo by Adrian Sanchez-Gonzalez)

At the event, middle and high school teams from around Montana will compete against other schools in rigorous, standards-based challenges across a range of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) topics. The top middle school and high school teams will go on to compete at the national Science Olympiad in North Carolina next May.

“Like any sports or music competition, the Science Olympiad rewards teams that collaborate, practice and prepare,” said Suzi Taylor, director of the MSU Science Math Resource Center, which hosts the event. “Because so many challenges require diverse skill sets, students with all talents — from building to writing to analyzing maps — can compete and excel. This is also a chance for the 1,400 student participants to get a glimpse of college life as they tour the MSU campus and interact with students, staff and faculty.”

This year, as part of MSU’s Year of Undergraduate Research, the Science Olympiad will honor MSU’s student researchers, many of whom are former Science Olympians or current Montana Science Olympiad volunteers.

Teams can choose from 14 different events for middle school and 14 for high school. New contests this year include astronomy, food science, detector building and chemistry lab, among others.

Students compete as teams, not individuals, and teams must be affiliated with a school. Coaches can be teachers, parents or community members. New teams are encouraged to join. The deadline to register is Friday, Oct. 18.

The Nov. 26 event also requires more than 200 volunteers and relies on sponsorship from industry partners. Potential volunteers as well as business and organizations interested in sponsorship can email mtscioly@montana.edu.

For more information, visit montana.edu/smrc/mtso.