Team America Rocketry Challenge, a program that inspires young people to pursuit a science, technology, engineering, or math career, announced that over 4,000 middle and high school students from across the country are participating in the qualifications round of the Rocket Challenge and which will culminate with the final competition to be held May 9.
About 700 teams that represent 48 US states are participating in the competition with model rockets they’ve designed and built themselves. The Rocketry Challenge is the largest rocketry competition in the world that:
“challenges teams to design and build a model rocket that can travel to a height of 800 feet and back within 46 to 48 seconds. Each rocket will carry one raw egg that must return safely to the ground undamaged. Scores are determined by how close the rockets come to the required height and time; damaged eggs disqualify flights. To encourage ingenuity and creativity, students are challenged with new design and flight requirements each year.”
According to RocketContest.Org, by March 30th, the teams must complete their qualification flights, and on April 3rd the top 100 teams that will participate in the 2015 Final Fly-Off at the Great Meadow in the Plain, VA will be announced.
A TARC alumni survey revealed that young people that engage with aerospace are highly likely to choose a career in STEM (science, technology, engineering, or math).
The survey showed that 8 in 10 past participants of the Rocket Challenge competition expressed their aspiration to pursuit such a career.
The young students participating in the qualifying rounds prove to be a diverse range of students. There are forty-one all-girl teams, six Boy Scout troops, a marching band, and a few teams making use of 3D printers to build parts for their model rockets.
Prizes and scholarships worth of $60,000 will be awarded to the Challenge winners. Apart from winning the largest rocketry competition in the world, the winning team will be travelling to Paris, France for the Paris International Air Show in June.
AIA President and CEO Marion C. Blakey said of the Rocket Challenge that:
“[It] has evolved from a one-time celebration of flight to an established and globally-recognized STEM education program.”
Blakey highlighted that the competition turned institution will inspire a new wave of scientists:
We’re confident that the contest will continue to inspire students to advance their studies in science and math, and eventually consider career opportunities in the aerospace and defense industry.”
TARC’s major sponsors are The Raytheon Company, the Lockheed Martin Corporation, Thales USA and the Microsemi Corporation.