Kids weren’t about to let the adults have all the fun at the Heber Springs 32nd Annual Cardboard Boat Races last Saturday. Several youngsters got in on the act when they built or piloted (or both) Star Wars-themed vessels to brave the waters of Greers Ferry Lake.

One entrant that mustn’t be overlooked is the 6-girl team from Crestwood S.T.E.A.M. Academy, led by instructor Tammy Leker. The acronym stands for science, technology, engineering, arts, and math. This school from North Little Rock utilized the cardboard boat races as a summer program in which students elected to participate. The registration form for the group says 105 students enrolled in the science program, dedicating 75 hours to designing, building, and testing their concept, including conducting their own cardboard boat race.

In their first run the captains of the Crestwood STEAM (#202) had some difficulty maneuvering their project through the lane and required some assistance from the lane patrol. However, not letting that keep them down, the girls (Mattie Jones, Macy Knowlton, Libby Southerland, Maggie Maher, Mia Adams, and Kynzlee Williams) were seen practicing oaring in preparation for round two. In the end, the Crestwood STEAM took 2nd place in the youth team division and won the Titanic Award for the most dramatic sinking of the day.

In the 1 or 2-man category of the youth division, The Fortnite (#107) manned by 10-year-old twins Hayden and Aiden Cluck, a star cruiser (#106) under the command of Anias Pedigo, 8, and the S.S. England (#104) piloted by Ruth and Catherine Rily of England, Arkansas raced against each other. Though all the vessels were up for the challenge, it was the S.S. England that won the heat and ended up taking 2nd Place overall in their division.

Pedigo said it took him four days to build his star cruiser for the competition and the twins reported it took them just under a week. The entry form for the S.S. England stated that it took four people 40 hours to build their winning creation, and the S.T.E.A.M. Academy made a summer program out of the endeavor. Building a cardboard boat can be very time consuming, but offers the opportunity for kids to work with parents, siblings, friends, and even teachers toward a rewarding, fun adventure.