They didn’t give him a Superior at the Wyoming state science fair.
Now, since they live near the border, kids in his school usually also go to the South Dakota state science fair, and nobody ever complained about it. And South Dakota’s judges, being sane, gave the kid a Superior and qualified him to an international science fair sponsored by Intel, where he could win cash and fabulous prizes as well as pretty colored ribbons.
At this point, the Wyoming science fair head called the international folks and ratted him out, because it turns out that you’re not supposed to attend two state science fairs, even if you technically qualify to go to two. Fine. It’s the rules.
But she didn’t call right away. No, she waited until the kid had hauled his reactor all the way to the international fair, so the kid could be disqualified there.
Yeppers, some people are truly well and truly in the business of trying to mess up other people’s lives.
Apparently the state of Wyoming was not amused by this, and has now fired their jerk official for being some kind of authoritarian annoyance (probably around the office as well as in this case). But it doesn’t help the kid.
OTOH, a kid with his own fusion reactor doesn’t need any help.
Anyway, for all of us who wondered what kind of science the judges could possibly want that our wonderful projects didn’t include… well, apparently a fusion reactor isn’t even enough, if the judges don’t like you. This should cheer us up a bit. (Aw. There, there, you little bean plant experiments. It wasn’t you.)