US team captures Gold in 2013 International Rocketry Challenge

Raytheon-sponsored team from Georgetown, Texas, wins first place in student rocketry challenge at the International Paris Air Show.

Paris — Three students from the Georgetown, Texas, 4-H rocketry club took home gold medals after placing first in the sixth annual International Rocketry Challenge at Le Bourget Airport in Paris. The U.S. team, sponsored by Raytheon (NYSE: RTN), reclaimed the title from the French team, which placed second. The U.K. team finished third. Each team was congratulated by the President of France, François Hollande.

The U.S. student rocketry team, sponsored by Raytheon Company, captured first place in the 2013 International Rocketry Challenge at Le Bourget Airport in Paris. The winning three-member team — the 4-H rocketry club from Georgetown, Texas — is: (l) Daniel Kelton,16; Matthew Janecka, 17; and brother Mark Janecka, 13. Second place went to the French team, and the U.K. team finished third.

To experience a sense of the day’s excitement at the International Rocketry Challenge, view onboard launch video from an exhibition rocket at:

The International Rocketry Challenge is the culmination of three separate competitions held annually around the globe – the Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC), UKAYRoC and the French Rocketry Challenge. Each contest brings together teams of middle and high school students to design, build and launch model rockets in hopes of inspiring young minds to become engaged in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

“Although the title must go to one team, they are all winners,” said AIA President and CEO Marion C. Blakey. “The innovation demonstrated by these students is a terrific indication that the future of our industry is in good hands and that the benefits of global collaboration are limitless.”

Competing teams built and launched rockets with a goal of reaching an altitude of exactly 750 feet during a 48- to 50-second flight window. The payload, a horizontally-placed raw egg, had to return to the ground by parachute – undamaged. The lowest score wins.

The three-member team representing the United States is from Georgetown, Texas, and consists of brothers Mark and Matthew Janecka and teammate Daniel Kelton. Georgetown 4-H posted a flight score of 47. The Leonard de Vinci school team from France placed second with a score of 76.81 for the flight, and the Royal Liberty school team from the United Kingdom placed third with a flight score of 105.67.

Contributing to each team’s final score, the students were also required to give an eight-minute presentation on their rocket design to a panel of international judges. Paralleling the outcome of the flights, the U.S. team placed first in the presentation segment, the team from France placed second and the U.K. team placed third.

This is the eighth year that Raytheon has supported the U.S. team’s trip to the international air show. The program is part of the company’s broad-based MathMovesU® initiative to encourage students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math.

“Raytheon is proud to continue its support of this exciting competition, which is inspiring a new generation to pursue rewarding careers in STEM,” said Raytheon Chairman and CEO William H. Swanson. “Working together to design, build and launch their own rockets provides these young students with the opportunity to collaborate and solve problems creatively as a team. We believe these ‘learn by doing’ experiences not only stimulate enthusiasm for STEM, but also help to build the skills needed to bolster innovation in the global arena.”

The United States is expected to add as many as 1.3 million jobs in STEM-related fields over the next five years. Matthew Janecka and Daniel Kelton plan on filling at least two of those positions, as both boys want to pursue degrees in aeronautical and aerospace engineering after graduation.

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.