STEM News Splash

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Office of Public Instruction



STEM News Splash

Fireball MLC

Montana Learning Center: Meteorites!

KTVH shares an article on the Montana Learning Center at Canyon Ferry Lake and interviews Ryan Hannahoe, the center's director.  You can also catch the fireball video on the Montana Science Teachers FB page.

Want to be involved?

The Montana Learning Center at Canyon Ferry Lake is Hiring for its 2021 Summer Camp Staff

The Montana Learning Center at Canyon Ferry Lake (MLC) has been hosting STEM-learning camps for kids and teacher trainings since 1984. We are located on a 10-acre campus on the shore of Canyon Ferry Lake, approximately 20 miles outside of Helena, Montana. Each year, we hire highly qualified teachers and/or outdoor education personnel to be camp counselors and instructors, (college juniors, seniors and graduate students also). Get more information and apply for a position to become a part of the MLC family.

Student Podcast Challenge

NPR Logo

National Public Radio is hosting a Student Podcast Challenge for students grades 5-12.  Read through the rules for the contest and determine if this is something your students would be interested in.  Below are resources available if you are interested in getting your students involved in this challenge:

Energy Instruction NEED Award

If you are: 

  1. Currently teaching (and will in the next school year) science in a K-12 classroom (public, private, charter).
  2. Engaged in the teaching of energy in the classroom and/or local community.
  3. Dedicated to the idea that a kids teaching kids approach to education is valuable and showcase this dedication in the classroom.
  4. An energy nerd – believing that energy is fun, cool, and a unifying theme in science.
  5. Fun and possess an inquisitive mind, playful spirit, and desire for life-long learning.

Then you have met the eligibility requirements for the Bob Thompson Excellence in Energy Award, which includes a, $1,000 cash grant, and an all-expenses paid trip to both NEED;s Annual Youth Energy Conference and Awards in June (Washington, D.C.) and the National Energy Conference for Educators in July (Albuquerque, NM).  The deadline to apply is February 1, 2021.  Review the PDF online application and then nominate a person or apply for the award.

Chemistry in the Wild!

Free for Grades 9-12

Learn soil science alongside Environmental Scientist Michael McTee of MPG Ranch in this inquiry-based soil science project. This free project is fully supported with teacher lesson plans, student resources, video instructions, and a step-by-step process for investigating local soil pH and comparing it to the study Michael McTee conducted on the MPG Ranch soil where damage was done by skeet targets. This soil science project demonstrates why chemistry is so important and helps answer the student question, "When am I ever going to use this?" Register here for Inspired Classroom's Chemistry in the WILD!

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Science Fair!

U of M Science Fair Header

University of Montana's Virtual Science Fair registration opens January 19, 2021.  Take a look through the following links for more information.  

Share the UM Research Opportunities video with your students to get them excited about the fair!

Science & Engineering Fair

Mt Tech STEM Fair

Montana Tech Regional Science & Engineering Fair

Virtually on March 2 - 4, 2021

     Division I: HS Science Fair, Wednesday March 3, 2021

     Division II: MS Science Fair, Tuesday March 2, 2021

     Registration is now open, 

Science Olympiad

Mt Science Olympiad News:

"A few major details are still to be ironed out (like a really big one: the DATE), we are calling this PRELIMINARY registration. That means we want you to register even if you’re not sure your team can compete. We want you to fill out the form even if you know for sure you WILL NOT compete! This ensures you’re on our list for next year when everything is hopefully back to normal. 

The preliminary registration form asks for your feedback on a couple of different tournament schedule options for late March through mid-April, so your responses are critical on this one. 

We realize this timing probably stinks for you, but we will do our best to make it work for the most!" 

Register your Division B (middle school) team here 

Register your Division C (high school) team here 

Free PD Registration Open

Hub Logo

Registration is now open for these highly rated facilitated online courses:

Facilitators are Montana Teachers that work with you on what you are teaching now - deepening the learning for your students.

Physics & Astronomy at University of Montana

Dr. Mark Reiser is reaching out to Montana students who may have any questions regarding continuing education at the University of Montana's Department of Physics and Astronomy.  He leads a number of initiatives within the department.  He can be contacted via email at or (406) 243-2074.  Contact him if you have questions or if any of the following links interest you.

National STEM Scholar Program

Middle School Science Teachers:

The National STEM Scholar Program works to inspire the creativity and passion of middle school science teachers, ten of whom will be selected for this prestigious program. The next set of Scholars will be hosted by The Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science and The Center for Gifted Studies May 30 - June 5, 2021 at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Applicants must be teachers from the United States who teach science classes a majority of the day in grades 6, 7, and/or 8 and have at least two years of previous experience teaching science. Applications are due February 1.

Youth Wildlife Conservation Experience

Teachers and Administrators:

Check out this Youth Wildlife Conservation Experience  coming up on January 15th, 2021, being put on virtually by the Wild Sheep Foundation.

It is a free Zoom event with sessions featuring Wild Bighorn Sheep Conservation, Exploring Wildlife Careers and other "how-to" outdoors related seminars. 

Indian Education for All

The Office of Public Instruction Indian Education for All Unit is offering another six-week webinar of Unpacking the Essential Understandings Regarding Montana Indians starting on February 3 and going through May 5. We are also offering a six-week Essential Understandings Deeper Dive Workshop starting February 10 and going through May 12.  Registration is available through the link above for both PD opportunities.

Nominate a Great Science or Math Teacher

Great work deserves great rewards!  Consider nominating an excellent teacher of 7-12 Grade for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

Remote and Hybrid Learning Webinars

 EdWeb is hosting the following Webinars regarding Remote Learning:

ASSIST Conference

January 28 - 29, 2021

Who should attend? 

System Test Coordinators, School Leaders (e.g., Superintendents, Principals, District Administrative Staff, Curriculum Directors, etc.), and Educators (e.g., general and special education teachers) should plan on attending. Other interested community members are also welcome to attend the event. The OPI will conduct the ASSIST Conference virtually using Zoom software and attendees are encouraged to attend the full two days to meet the diverse local testing needs. The virtual conference will begin at 8:00 AM each day and conclude at 3:30 PM. Registration is now open.

Articles & News

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Calendar of Events & Opportunities

Keep updated with new opportunities, professional development, and science resources at the Montana OPI's Science Page.  


This message was sent by Michelle McCarthy, Science Instructional Coordinator.  You can reach Michelle by email at or by calling (406) 444-3537 or (406) 860-6619 (cell).  If you want to share out this subscription or unsubscribe you can change your email subscription status.

The OPI is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to people with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation, require an alternate format, or have questions concerning accessibility, contact the OPI ADA Coordinator, 406-444-3161,, TTY 406-444-0235.