Thousands of students participate in world’s largest rocketry competition

The Team America Rocketry Challenge launches into qualifying rounds for the 2015 contest

Arlington, Va. – Nearly 4,000 middle and high school students across the country are gearing up for the 2015 Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC), the aerospace and defense industry’s flagship program to inspire young people to explore careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). This year, close to 700 teams representing 48 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are designing and building model rockets as they contest to qualify for the national finals scheduled for Saturday, May 9 in The Plains, VA.

Structured to emulate the aerospace industry's engineering design process, TARC 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.

Sponsored by the Aerospace Industries Association, the National Association of Rocketry and 27 industry partners, the contest aims to strengthen U.S. student engagement with STEM. "TARC has evolved from a one-time celebration of flight to an established and globally-recognized STEM education program," said AIA President and CEO Marion C. Blakey. "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."

This year's contest has attracted a wide variety of American youth including 41 all-girl teams, several teams utilizing 3-D printers to develop rocket components, a marching band and six Boy Scout troops. Teams have until March 30 to launch and submit their qualifying flight scores. The top 100 scoring teams will advance to the National Finals.

Participants compete for scholarships and prizes totaling more than $60,000 and the title of champions of the world’s largest student rocketry competition. The winning team will also travel to the Paris International Air Show in June courtesy of the Raytheon Company to compete in the International Rocketry Challenge. The American team will face off against teams from the United Kingdom and France in hopes of claiming the gold.

For more information about the Team America Rocketry Challenge, please visit www.rocketcontest.org. TARC is made possible by the generous support of our industry sponsors listed below:

Diamond Sponsor:         The Raytheon Company

Platinum Sponsors:       Lockheed Martin Corporation and Thales USA

Gold Sponsor:                  Microsemi Corporation

Silver Sponsors:              Accenture, Aerojet Rocketdyne, Aurora Flight Sciences, The Boeing Company, Cubic Corporation, Elbit Systems of America , Embraer Aircraft Holding, GE Aviation, Harris Corporation, Honeywell Aerospace, Iron Mountain, Kaman Aerospace, L-3 Communications Corporation, LMI Aerospace, Micro-Coax, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Parker Aerospace, Rockwell Collins, Rolls Royce North America, RTI International Metals, Space Exploration Technologies, United Technologies Corporation, and Woodward, Inc.


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