- Advocacy & Policy
- Research Center
September 03, 2008As school doors swing open, students have a terrific opportunity to look forward to - the Team America Rocketry Challenge. Registration is now open for the world's largest rocket contest challenging participants to compete for $60,000 in prizes and scholarships and a trip to next year's international air show in Paris. The contest rules and registration are at www.rocketcontest.org. Participants must design and build a rocket that will climb to 750 feet and stay aloft for 45 seconds. This year's new task is transporting the one-egg payload lying on its side rather than positioned vertically, mimicking the position of an astronaut. Teams have until Dec.1 to register. April 6 is the deadline to conduct a qualifying launch and earn a trip to the finals, scheduled for May 16 at the Great Meadow in The Plains, Va. The registration fee is $105. AIA sponsors the contest with the National Association of Rocketry, NASA, the Defense Department, the American Association of Physics Teachers and AIA member companies. Students in grades 7-12 in any U.S. school or non-profit youth organization are eligible to compete. About 7,000 students from across the country took part in the contest last year, and since TARC's first contest in 2003, almost 50,000 students have taken the challenge. A team from Enloe High School in North Carolina was crowned champion in 2008. The contest gives future engineers the opportunity to demonstrate their math and physics skills. Working together in a team environment, they will design a real aerospace product, which will be put through the rigors of testing and evaluation. The aerospace industry is actively looking for young people to join its ranks. The industry is facing a potential workforce crisis as scores of employees reach retirement age. According to AIA statistics, almost 60 percent of the U.S. aerospace workforce was age 45 or older in 2007. For more information on careers in aerospace, visit www.launchintoaerospace.org.