A nuclear reactor built by a Wyoming teenager isn't enough for a science fair that disqualified him from their competition. Fair officials did not censure the teen for building the fusion reactor, but for entering too many science fairs in the wrong order.
Conrad Farnsworth, an 18-year-old from Newcastle, Wyoming, built the reactor in his father's garage. He ordered some parts online, and traded for other parts he needed. Farnsworth is one of only about 15 students to have ever created such a device, and the first from the Equality State.
Farnsworth's goal - one he had worked toward for four years - was to enter the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. Rules of the competition allow students to participate in just one regional science fair and later, one larger event, like a state-wide competition in order to qualify.For those of you who don't know Newcastle Wyoming has one whole stop light and less than 3,000 people living in it. It's about as po-dunk as you can get without having babies with your sister. I doubt anyone knew about the "don't enter your working model of a fusion reactor in to many science fairs" rule.
Because Farnsworth entered both qualifying events, and in the wrong order, the director of the fair, Annie Bergman, reported Farnsworth, and disqualified the teen from the International competition. Her contract was later not renewed by the University of Wyoming who sponsored the event, as officials deemed that she had acted outside her authority.To me this last paragraph is the most amazing. Who would have thought that UW would have done such a wise and sensible thing and fire the fruitcake?