2020 Rural Schools Science Fair delivers results

Wednesday, March 18, 2020
Nobel efforts Maggie Baker (with first-place trophy) and Harper Felo (with third-place medal) get awarded for their projects in the technology category at last Friday’s Beaverhead Rural Science Fair. Gabrielle Regan photo

Nobel efforts Maggie Baker (with first-place trophy) and Harper Felo (with third-place medal) get awarded for their projects in the technology category at last Friday’s Beaverhead Rural Science Fair. Gabrielle Regan photo

Enthusiasm for student science fairs may be waning in some places in the country.

But that place was not Dillon last Friday, when nearly a hundred K-8 students from area rural schools filled Keltz Arena on the University of Montana Western campus with displays and presentations for their entries in the 2020 Beaverhead Rural Science Fair.

“It’s always amazing to see what the kids do,” said Becky Jensen, a teacher at Reichle School, which acted as host for this year’s Beaverhead Rural Science Fair.

“I think kids are born scientists. And these projects really get them excited about science. They get kids talking about and going through the scientific process,” said Jensen, noting that this year’s Rural Science Fair drew 94 participants from nine area rural school districts— Reichle, Polaris, Grant, Jackson, Wisdom, Wise River, Divide, Melrose and Alder.

“They get to interweave all the academic disciplines,” said Jensen of students creating their science fair projects that apply art, history, science, math and language arts in their presentations in different science categories, including life science, earth-space, biological, physical, chemical and technology, as well as in a young inventory category.

“The kids really like it,” added Jensen in a phenomena borne out by the beaming, excited faces of participants on Friday and project titles like Divide student Isabella Salusso’s “How Do Porcupines Climb on Trees?”

Organizers split the presentations into groups, with students waiting their turn before the judges heading to an upstairs gym to enjoy different sort of displays—dancing and gymnastics exhibitions by students from Dillon’s Shine Studio.


(note: not every category had entries for each grade group)



1st place–Alecea Hiltz, Grant.

2nd place–team,Charlie Child and Catie Jo Ullom, Wisdom.

Grades 1–2

1st place–Jaiden Voll, Alder.

2nd Place–Eli Ubaido, Alder.

3rd Place–Regan Sprinkle, Alder.

Grades 3–4

1st place–James Brook, Alder

Grades 5–6

1st place–Cole Webster, Reichle

Grades 7–8

1st Place–Matt Reinhardt, Wisdom

2nd Place–Dorothy Campbell, Wisdom

3rd Place–Willy Schonsberg-Wise River



1st Place–Riker Malkovich, Jackson.

2nd Place–team of Eoin Davis and Maverick Beebe, Alder

Grades 1–2

1st Place–Raelynn Tash, Polaris

2nd Place– Emily Geary, Jackson

3rd Place–Clementine Regan, Reichle

Grades 3–4

1st Place–Cameron Breitzman, Divide

2nd Place–Kelly Webster, Reichle

3rd Place–Max Gilman, Alder Grades 5–6

Grades 5–6

1st Place–Emma Stein, Jackson

2nd Place–Darrell Lewis, Wisdom

Grades 7–8

1st Place–Spencer Huntley, Wisdom

2nd Place–Titus Salusso, Divide



1st Place–team of Jeff Rhodes,

Ally Tarter, and Ellie Felo,

Grades 1–2

1st Place–Paityn Tarter, Reichle

2nd Place–Makaylyn Reinhardt, Wisdom

3rd Place–Wylie Heiland, Jackson

Grades 3–4

1st Place–Callie Tash, Polaris

2nd–Benjamin DeLuca, Wise River

Grades 5–6

1st Place–Chloe Salusso, Divide

2nd Place–Rowdy Mattison, Wisdom

Grades 7–8

1st Place–Ronnie Porter, Jackson



1st Place–team of Arian Shaw, Anaiah Davis, Avery Tetrault, Alder

2nd Place–team of Stella Bieler, Charlie Rowberry, Alder

Grades 1–2

1st Place–Zophia Diaz, Wisdom

2nd Place Tristan Root, Alder

3rd Place Maya Hays, Wise River

Grades 3–4

1st Place–Rowdy Root, Alder

2nd Place–Max Hagenbarth, Reichle

3rd Place–Sage Rhodes, Reichle

Grades 5–6

1st Place–Violet Rhodes, Reichle



Grades 1–2

1st Place–Kooper Stevenson, Wisdom

2nd Place–Lily Beebe, Alder

3rd Place–Natasha Hiltz, Grant

Grades 3–4

1st Place–Thatcher Baird, Wise River

2nd Place–Makenna Bailey, Reichle

3rd Place–Nora DeLuca, Wise River

Grades 5–6

1st Place–Devin Hales, Grant

2nd Place–Faith Rognstad, Reichle

Grades 7–8

1st Place–David Schmidlin, Grant

2nd Place–Mary Huxtable, Grant

3rd Place–Keegan Breitzman, Divide


Grades 3–4

1st Place–Maggie Baker, Alder

2nd Place–Harper Felo, Reichle

3rd Place–Josh Lewis, Wisdom


Grades 1–2

1st Place–Teelie Bolinder-Polaris

Grades 5–6

1st Place–Morgan Heiland, Jackson