The plan was to have Ozbot toys, robots, and drones; robot wars, egg buggy rolls, roller-coaster design, catapults and people powered vehicles littering the parking lots of and between Booneville Junior High and Booneville High School for a STEM Olympiad Thursday.
Not to mention people.
That, however, was the problem. When the school district collaborated with the Guy Fenter Education Service Cooperative for the event last year there were more than 1,600 people at the annual Olympiad.
But with a lot of setup made impossible by a steady rainfall most of Wednesday, coupled with an uncertainty of Thursday’s weather lead to the cancellation of the event.
“We just couldn’t risk having 2,000 people here and nowhere to put them,” said Booneville Junior High School principal Josh Walker.
With it cancelled a lot of the work put in by students in grades 5-12 will not be able to be displayed, at least not widely.
Most of the competitors research and design the apparatus before they come. This allows them to learn basic math, science, and engineering skills that are helpful throughout life, according to organizers.
There were also 26 booths planned for the commons area, including career educators from various colleges, Game and Fish, the EMS van and crew, Arkansas Geological Survey, Magazine Mountain State Park and others.
This year, the Air Force also planned to have an added attraction in the flight simulator that the students will be able to try out.
Students from the 22 districts comprising GFESC were scheduled to participate including Booneville, Paris, Magazine, Scranton, Ozark, County Line, Lavaca, Van Buren, Mulberry, Cedarville and others.
When Booneville agreed to host the event, the agreement was for two years, but Walker said last week he does not anticipate attempting to host the event again next year.