Five teams from Orange County are among 100 national finalists in The American Rocketry Challenge. The students will compete against other teams at the National Finals, taking place in mid-June at regional launch sites across the U.S. In addition to competing for the title of national champion, teams will be competing for $100,000 in prizes. The competition is returning in 2021 after a year hiatus due to COVID-19.
STARBASE Los Alamitos is being advised by Tim Ziemer and made up of home-schooled students. Interlude Musical Outreach in Irvine is being advised by Haiying Chen. AIAA OC Section also in Irvine is being advised by Binay Pandey. Mathmania Robotics from Mission Viejo is being advised by Nawaid Rana. Young Engineers in Actions from La Palma is being advised by Paul Liu.
All teams will be competing in Lucerne Dry Lake, California on either June 11th and 13th.
The contest involves more than 5,000 students, and more than 600 teams submitted scores. This year’s rules require teams to design, build and launch a model rocket that carries one raw egg to three different altitude and time goals: 800 feet within 40 to 43 seconds for their qualifying flights, and then 775 feet within 39 to 42 seconds and 825 feet within 41 to 44 seconds at the National Finals- all with the rocket and egg returning to the ground intact.
The American Rocketry Challenge is the Aerospace Industry Association’s flagship program designed to encourage students to pursue study and careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). In addition to the impressive task of launching a rocket 800 feet into the air, teams competing in 2021 had to overcome new obstacles created by the pandemic. From Zoom practices, virtual launches and calculations, to new distancing protocols and procedures, the 2021 finalists are truly the cream of the crop of future engineers – and problem solvers.
AIA President and CEO Eric Fanning said, “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.”