BUTTE – Think you’re smart? Drop by the Montana Tech’s Regional Science Fair.

“Pseudomonas chloroaphis 06 it will release a chemical signal and it will trigger the closure of stemmata on the…” explained Ariel Norman of Woods Cross High in Utah.

Way over my head. But more than 50 high school students from six different states displayed their science projects at the Butte university for the fourth annual fair. Many students were pleasantly surprised they won.

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“They had the paper out there and my teacher said, ‘your name’s on there,’ and my reaction was like, ‘no it’s not.’ I was just so surprised, I’m very blessed,” said 17-year-old Brooklyn Tronstad of Baker High School.

Hannah Wolff of Central High in Missoula said, “I think it was a lot of fun. I was good to get other people’s opinions on your project and get feedback from the judges.”

Organizers said science fairs like this are important for the country’s future.

“What we’re seeking is a real drop in student pursuing the hard sciences and the research fields, so events like this are critical to our nation’s economic stability,” said Amy Verlanic of Montana Tech.

In the past four years of this science fair here at Montana Tech they haven’t had any Butte student participate, but this year there are several students from Butte who are observing and some say they’re inspired to participate next year.

It does inspire me and it’s also given me a bigger idea of exactly what it’s going to take for me to do this,” said Aurora Andersch of Butte High. “I’m planning on working on it this summer and most of next school year until I can put it in as a project here.”

More brainpower. More than 400 middle schoolers from around the state will participate in the science fair at Montana Tech on Thursday.

Reporting by John Emeigh for MTN News