Hellgate Brings Home First Place at APS Science Fair in Butte


Hellgate Celebrates their First Place Win in Butte Last March. Photo Courtesy of Faith You

Hellgate’s Advanced Problems in Science program swept the regional science fair in Butte, winning overall, and bringing home several first place awards at the University of Montana. The science fairs gathered students from around the western Montana area to compete with projects they have been working on all year alongside mentoring professors and doctors. 

The class at Hellgate, taken with Willow Affleck, is one of the most popular for students looking to reach further into the sciences

Hellgate sophomore Faith You won first place at their first science fair of the season, and qualified for ISEF, the International Science and Engineering Fair. You’s project is about the impact of gut brain transmitters signaling on reproductive success, specifically in fruit flies. You, who is in her second year of the course, said she really enjoys the class. “You sort of get to dive deeper into a scientific topic that you’re interested in.” 

Hellgate has brought many wins back with APS and it is one of the most successful programs offered. You said she is confident that they will continue the winning streak. 

The passion APS students have lies with the love for the class and the sciences that they have. “For APS you can go at your own pace, you can go as fast or as slow as you want,” said You. While the workload can be intense, students who choose to take the intensive class have no lack of drive and love for their topics. 

The science fairs across Missoula and Montana offer a unique opportunity for more science-driven students to interact and share projects and ideas. “You get to connect with a lot of cool people from around Missoula and all over,” said You. You said discussing with students was a highlight to the experience and a fun way to get to know people who work at the same level and are interested in the same topics. 

You along with Hellgate senior Mila Mckay qualified for ISEF at the first regional fair. You said that going to different places around the country was one of the things that keeps her driven throughout the year. “I think it’s really cool to be recognized for all the hard work you put into a project that you’re passionate about.” 

Hellgates most recent science fair, on April 3 and 4th, held at the University of Montana brought home more awards for the APS crew. Mckay took the first place prize and Garrett Goulstone won second place. Both Goulstone and Mckay qualified for the 2023 International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF).