Student Spotlight: Middle school student has high hopes for the future

St. James Middle School student answers 50 science questions in 45 minutes

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - The weekly Student Spotlight is all about high academic accomplishments, and seventh-grader Monte Berman shines inside and outside the classroom.

He has achieved an accolade not many can say they’ve earned. Monte has never seen a B on his report card, so it’s fitting the St. James Middle School principal nominated him. However, that’s not the only reason Monte is a Student Spotlight.

The seventh-grader took home first place for the second year in a row at the Beta Club Convention last month, where more than 4,600 students from all over South Carolina compete. He answered 50 questions in the science division in just 45 minutes.

“Once we started the test you could hear nothing, you could hear a pin drop in the room, well except the pencil and paper," he said laughing.

Monte almost got every single question right.

“One, and that was about magnetic and how dense elements and compounds are. The question went along the lines of is something more magnetic a denser or less denser compound. I believe I chose more dense, but I believe it was less dense,” Monte said.

Science can be confusing for some, but Monte explained it so simply.

"Things don’t always have to make perfect sense in science. You can have the most complicated problem that you can solve in five seconds if you know a basic rule. I think that’s so nice about science compared to things like math and ELA, plus I’ve just always found it interesting how the world works with science.”

When asked where this love for science comes from, he said confidently his sixth-grade science teacher was the best teacher he’s had and really influenced his love and interest to science. Monte shared has high and impressive hopes for his future.

“I want to study micro-animals that could possibly create new forms of medicine and new things that we’ve never even heard of or thought about creating before,” Monte explained.

Starting smart habits early is key.

He added, “I believe it’s so important because if you don’t start now than when can you start?"

Monte is competing in the National Beta Convention in Oklahoma this summer. He took home 11th in the nation during last year’s competition. Monte also said he’s working toward getting in the Scholars Academy in Horry County for high school. Plans for college include MIT or Harvard, and we certainly wish him the best of luck.

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