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Date: Mon, Feb 22nd, 2021

Great Falls College Science and Engineering Fair going virtual

Great Falls College MSU staff member Denise Ostberg tries out the virtual platform the Great Falls College MSU Regional Science and Engineering Fair will be using for this year's annual event. She was trying it out from participant side.

GREAT FALLS, Mont. – Registration is now open for the Great Falls College MSU Regional Science and Engineering Fair that is held annually at the college.

This year's event is being hosted by the college, but it will be a virtual event in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Last year's fair was the last public event to be held on campus, and we very much look forward to doing it in person again in 2022," said Dr. Leanne Frost, the executive director of instruction and science fair director at the college. "Even though we won't be able to see the students and their projects on campus this year, we're excited to still be able to host the fair virtually. It's important to support students' interest in science, and we appreciate the efforts of students, parents and teachers to participate in the science and engineering fair."

The fair, which is scheduled for March 9 and was previously called the Region II Science Fair, will work in much the same way it typically does. The participants and judges will meet together in a virtual room where the students will present their projects and receive scores from the judges.

Students, teachers and judges can sign up for the Science Fair at by March 2.

This year's fair is open to only middle school and high school students, grades 6-12, and not elementary students grades K-5.

"We are really disappointed not to have an elementary-age division this year," said Charla Merja, who coordinates the fair for the college, "but we want to make sure the fair is as successful as it can be, and it was just too overwhelming for everyone to move the elementary fair to a virtual platform."

She encourages elementary students to participate in the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) Expo this year. They can sign up at Registration closes on Feb. 28.

The Great Falls College fair is using the same platform as the state science and engineering fair to simplify the process for students who advance to the state competition.

The Great Falls College fair is one of four regional science fairs in Montana and is affiliated with the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF). The top two high school grand award project winners from the fair will compete at ISEF, also being held virtually this year.

The middle school fair is affiliated with the Broadcom MASTERS Fair, a program of the Society for Science and the Public. Broadcom MASTERS nominations are available to the top 10 percent of the sixth- through eighth-grade students who participate.

Projects involving humans, vertebrate animals, potentially hazardous biological agents, or hazardous chemicals, activities or devices must be pre-approved. Forms and more information can be found at
Registration is $10 per student.

Contact Frost a or 406-771-4372 with questions.

Judges needed

Great Falls College is once again in need of judges to make these events a success. Judging will take place virtually from 9 a.m. to noon on the day of the fair, March 9. Judges will need a computer or smart device with audio and video capabilities to access the projects. You can sign up to judge the Great Falls College MSU Regional Science and Engineering Fair at by March 2. For more information, please contact Charla Merja, 406-771-4301 or

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Record Number: 729