5,000 High School Students Compete in Rocket Contest
5,000 high school students on 789
teams are competing in the 14th annual Team
Challenge (TARC). After contest representatives receive information
on the rocket
launches most teams are making this month, they will invite the 100
best to the
TARC national finals May 14 near Washington, D.C.
year's challenge to the teams is to design,
engineer and build rockets that can carry a payload consisting of two
perpendicular to each other. To qualify, the teams must return the
earth after the rockets carrying them fly to at least 850 feet in the
between 44 and 46 seconds.
that fly exactly to the requirements will
receive perfect scores of zero. However, points are given as deductions
the perfect flight. For instance, points will be given if the eggs are
or broken, if the flight takes longer or shorter than the 44 to 46
100 best teams will compete with their
rockets at the Great Meadow in The Plains, VA, about 45 minutes from
Washington, D.C. They will compete for prizes and scholarships worth
$100,000 and the national champion will travel to the Farnborough
Air Show near London to compete in the International Rocketry Challenge
teams from Europe and Asia.
the nearly 800 teams of high school
students are 43 made up completely of girls and several that used 3D
to fabricate their rockets. One team from Wisconsin sold 9,000 muffins
its school's rocketry program.
TARC is jointly organized by the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) and the National Association of Rocketry.
believe the skills students discover and
build while participating in this program will propel them to pursue
and careers in STEM fields, specifically in the aerospace industry,"
President and CEO David F. Melcher.
TARC sponsors include the Raytheon Company,
Lockheed Martin, Thales USA, Boeing and Elbit Systems of America.
Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.