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Madison West High School of Madison, Wisc., faced stiff international competition and placed second in the International Rocketry Challenge at the Farnborough International Air Show Friday. The Raytheon-sponsored team competed against the national champions of France and the United Kingdom.
“The French team took home the trophy, but it’s our industry that’s the true winner today,” said Aerospace Industries Association President and CEO Marion C. Blakey. “The skills, teamwork and ingenuity displayed by all three teams today is a great sign for the future workforce of the global aerospace and defense industry.”
Teams of students 11-18 years old hand-designed, built and launched rockets to reach exactly 800 feet during a 43- to 47-second flight. The payload, two raw eggs, had to return to the ground by parachute undamaged. Flight scores account for sixty percent of the total with the other forty percent based on student answers to a series of questions from industry experts about rocketry design and aerospace engineering concepts.
An outgrowth of the Team America Rocketry Challenge now in its tenth year, the international competition highlights the global aerospace and defense industry’s efforts to draw top-notch talent from today’s students. Efforts like these inspire students to study science, technology, mathematics and engineering classes and to eventually pursue careers in related fields. The technical requirements are tough, but challenges like these fuel the innovation that drives the aerospace and defense industry.
Madison West took second in the 5th annual international competition with a score of 36 and by fielding questions like, “How do you calculate the stability of a rocket?” The team consisting of Meng Lou, Hanwook Chung, Suzanne Hanle and Tashi Atruktsang competed against the UK team from the Perse School in Cambridge and the French team from Lycee Louis Bleriot in today’s challenge.
Raytheon Company sponsored the Madison West team's trip to the international competition as part of the team's first place win of the Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC) where the Madison West team bested some 3500 high school rocketry enthusiasts.
“Support of competitions like TARC help extend the age group we can reach with our MathMovesU initiative to spotlight STEM learning and success,” said Pam Erickson, Vice President of Community Relations at Raytheon. “TARC Team USA embodies championship attributes that will continue to propel them to success.”
Just days before the London Olympic Games, the International Rocketry Challenge was part of Futures Day at the air show and was one of the many ways event organizers demonstrated to crowds of young people how science, technology, mathematics and engineering have a direct impact on the real world and the aerospace and defense industry. The contest was organized and sponsored by the Aerospace Industries Association of America; ADS, the UK Aerospace, Defense, Security and Space association; and Groupement des Industries Francaises Aeronautiques et Spatiales, the French aerospace industries association.