100 teams advance to U.S. Finals in world’s largest student rocket contest

Earlier today, the Team America Rocketry Challenge announced the teams competing at the National Finals on May 18 at Great Meadow in The Plains, Va., outside of Washington, D.C. This year, two teams tied for the 100th spot, so 101 teams will compete in the finals based on their qualification scores.

The Team America Rocketry Challenge is the aerospace and defense industry’s flagship program designed to encourage students to pursue study and careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). The competition challenges middle and high school students to design, build, and fly a rocket that meets rigorous altitude and flight duration parameters through a
series of certified, qualifying launches. In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing, this year’s rules require a rocket carrying three raw eggs, representing the Apollo astronauts, to reach 856 feet before returning the uncracked eggs to Earth – all within 43 to 46 seconds.

Sponsored by the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA), the National Association of Rocketry, and more than 20 industry partners, the Team America Rocketry Challenge is the world’s largest student rocket contest. This year, 830 teams representing 46 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands designed and built model rockets in hopes of qualifying for the National Finals.

The 100 finalists will compete for more than $100,000 in prizes, and the winner of the National Finals will represent the United States at the International Rocketry Challenge at the Paris International Air Show in June against teams from the United Kingdom, France, and Japan. After five straight international championships, the United States looks to continue its international winning streak.

The Rocketry Challenge promotes friendly competition among teams from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds, ethnicities, and geographies – from frozen lakes in Alaska to major metropolitan areas. Numerous teams launched fundraising campaigns in their communities to make their participation this year possible.

AIA President and CEO Eric Fanning congratulated the finalists: “Qualifying for the National Finals is a testament to the teamwork, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills that represent the very best of aerospace and defense. Each year, this contest inspires thousands of young women and men to consider careers in STEM fields. It presents a unique opportunity to motivate the next generation of leaders who will change the way we move, connect, and explore our world.”

Now in its seventeenth year, the Rocketry Challenge has inspired more than 70,000 middle and high school students to explore education and careers in STEM fields.

Follow and support your local team on the road to National Finals using the official hashtag: #TARC19.

For more information about the Team America Rocketry Challenge and to view the complete list of finalist teams, visit our site: www.rocketcontest.org.

This article was released by the Aerospace Industries Association.

Editor’s Note: Two of the advancing teams are local – one from La Palma, associated with Young Engineers in Action, and the other affiliated with STARBASE out of the Joint Forces Training Base in Los Alamitos!