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The Ophir School Newspaper is a joint production of Outlaw Partners and the aspiring Middle-School Journalists of Ophir School, who are self-assigning the content and reporting and photographing the stories you see here. The Ophir School Newspaper will appear on two pages of the Big Sky Weekly throughout the school year. -Barbara Rowley, Ophir School Newspaper advisor

Science madness!

By Katie Middleton, Photo by KP Hoffman

Ophir School has been very busy lately with the science fair.

First, there was the school fair with around 70 students participating in the fifth through eighth grade. The judges chose about 21 lucky kids whose projects received first, second or third places. They attended the Montana Tech Regional Science Fair the following week.

At the regional fair, only the first place winners, grades six through eight, went on to the state competition, which happened in Missoula, on Feb. 19 and 20. The fifth graders, who had five first place finishes, couldn’t go to the fair.

While sixth through eighth graders cannot advance past the state level, high school students can go on to internationals. Three students, Anna Middleton, Micah Robin and Joe McGough, competed in Butte two days earlier than the middle school. Middleton won the grand prize of a free trip to the Intel International Science Fair in Pittsburgh, Penn. in May.
Kuka Holder, who won a blue ribbon and a gold medal, says she enjoys going to the fair because “it’s cool to see other people’s projects.” Holder’s project was titled “Vermicomposting” and was about using worms to eat garbage.

Jackson Raden, who received a blue ribbon and a gold medal with Holden Samuels for their project “Do headphones hurt your hearing?” said the best parts were doing well in the competition and having fun with their project. Jackson and Holden won a special award of $25; Holder and Solae Swenson also got special awards. At the Ophir Fair, Bella Butler and Dasha Bough split a $100 award from the Jack Creek Preserve for their project.

If you like the idea of winning cash, keep doing science when you are in high school, because those competitions have cash and scholarship prizes up to $100,000.

Spelling semantics:
Fifth grader wins Bee

By Elizabeth Quackenbush

This year, Ophir School hosted its second spelling bee. It was an hour of non-stop spelling, and what better place to hold it than the Community Library?

Teachers Sue Barton and Nettie Breuner judged from afar, while guidance counselor Kasey Anderson gave the contestants their words.
Students from fifth through eighth grades competed. Spewing words out one after another, the eliminations happened quickly. Soon it came down to five contestants, then to three. And momentarily there were just two people left.

Seventh grader Bella Butler and fifth grader Ben McCabe were the two last standing contestants. Bella almost had it, but Ben obtained first place by spelling the word “semantics.”

“It was really exciting when they told me I had gotten it right,” said Ben of his win. Ben McCabe will now go on to Bozeman to compete among other school spelling bee winners.

That’s the rap on Spelling Bee 2012. Congratulations to Ben McCabe for being the first fifth grader to win an Ophir School spelling bee—beating all the sixth, seventh and eighth graders!

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