BUTTE – Reaching this type of speed requires plenty of science and engineering.

“We spent multiple hours redesigning the car, spent a lot of time in the virtual wind tunnel testing it to see how it would do,” said Colter Hartless of Corvallis High School.

So, what’s the point of all this intricate planning?

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“Kick butt, we’re going to kick some butt,” said Drummond High’s Liz Cartmill.

Ten teams from around Montana, including one from Canada, brought their best mini Formula 1 racers to Highlands College Monday morning to see which team has the fastest design. It takes plenty of work.

“We had a lot of long nights. I mean, shoot, a week before this we were at the school until about midnight every day just crunching stuff getting everything done,” Hartless said.

Organizers say the skills the students develop in this competition go much deeper than just racing.

“They’re so mature, they’re confident, they want to experience different things they want to learn. Hopefully, that will give them the skills to start looking at different careers,” said event organizer Mary Ellen Earnhardt.

Chris Jones of Plains, Montana, added, “It just brings you all together and it really helps because you just get one awesome final project done and that final project turns out amazing.”

Some very fast learners. The team of Drummond High won first place, Corvallis took second place and Sheridan placed third.

Reporting by John Emeigh for MTN News