Missouri teens won this year's Team America Rocketry Challenge. The nine students from Festus High School’s STEAM-y Rocketry Club outperformed one hundred other teams competing in the fields of Virginia last week.
Sixteen year old rocket rookie Grace Basler shared the team’s reaction with the AIA: “After we won, most of us weren’t sure whether we wanted to scream or run eight miles because that’s how much energy we had.”
TARC challenges secondary school students across the United States and its territories to design and build a model rocket. Their DIY launch vehicle had to lift a raw egg 775 feet into the sky and return it safely to the ground within 41-43 seconds. The finalists had to make last minute design changes to launch their rockets to 800 feet.
This year's championship included teams from 28 states and the US Virgin Islands. They spent the winter refining their rocket designs and conducting test launches before demonstrating their skills in regional qualifiers. Out of the 700 teams that competed this year, only 100 scored well enough to reach the finals.
The STEAM-y Rocketry Club’s work is not over. As the national champions, they will represent the United States in competition at the Paris Air Show in June. The United States has won the competition each of the past two years so the new champions have some big shoes to fill.
Interested in competing for next year’s TARC? The rules have already been posted: you’ll have to launch two eggs to 800 feet and return them to Earth without a crack.