After months of designing, building and launching home-made model rockets, hundreds of middle and high school students from across the country will advance to the national finals of the Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC). TARC’s top 100 teams will travel to Great Meadow in The Plains, Va., to launch against fellow student rocketeers in the final fly-off on May 10.
With 5,000 annual participants, TARC is the world’s largest student rocket contest. In the most difficult challenge of the competition’s 12-year history, teams must design and build a model rocket that can travel to exactly 825 feet and back within 48-50 seconds while carrying two raw eggs that must return safely to the ground undamaged.
TARC has proven successful in bolstering students’ engagement with science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
“TARC empowers students to explore the process of innovative research and development,” said AIA President and CEO Marion C. Blakey. “To achieve a successful launch, participants must build a rocket, test its capabilities, refine their design and repeat the process until they achieve their intended result — this is an extremely valuable skillset for American students who are preparing to enter a globally competitive workforce to possess.”
Participants are competing for $60,000 in scholarships and prizes, as well as bragging rights. Raytheon Company will host the winning team at the Farnborough International Air Show in England this July to launch against student teams from the United Kingdom and France in an international rocketry contest.