Send Jr High Rocket Club to Finals

A team of 8th grade first-year rocketry enthusiasts from the Vanguard Jr High School has been selected to compete in the worlds largest rocketry contest.

The funds will be used for team member, chaperone and school-mentor plane tickets, hotel fees, transportation and food.

The Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC) qualifying process involved ten months, thousands of rocket launches, and a few broken eggs. Out of all the Middle and High Schools in the United States, TARC has selected only 100 finalist teams..  The teams represent schools, 4-H clubs, civil air patrol squadrons, science clubs and churches.

 The TARC national finals will be held in the Washington, D.C., area on May 14. Vanguard Jr. High is the only Colorado school sending a team to finals this year. In fact, these eighth graders are the only team in a nine-state region going to finals!  This does not surprise the parents of the teens, since Vanguard, a public charter school, was ranked number 16 in the entire nation recently for college prep. The Aerospace Industries Association announced the finalists on April 8. The teams will travel to Virginia for a final fly-off, with an all-expenses paid trip to the International Air Show this summer in Britain for the winning team. About 8,000 students from the U.S. took part in the qualifying round of the competition.

Science, math, engineering, computer programming, and testing all play a part in the competition. The Vanguard School has had TARC finalists eight of the last ten years, and has also participated in the NASA-sponsored Student Launch. The Vanguard team has a web page with photos and videos of their season, including Lots of information about sponsors and the competition itself.

Thursday, April 14th the team of boys was honored to attend their invitation to the Colorado state Senate. There, the boys met Bill Cadman (President of the Senate)  and were each acknowledged by name to the senatorial quorum.  Later that day, the team attended the 32nd annual Space Symposium , where they met numerous leaders in the space-security and defense industry as well as one student who met renowned astronaut Buzz Aldrin!

Team member Daniel said, "I can't believe you can have so much fun and at the same time prepare for a career in the aerospace industry."

Fellow teammate Miguel said, "Launching hardware we designed in simulation software is the coolest thing. The data analysis to get us here required profound commitment, which from what I understand, is kind of exceptional for eighth graders."

Team captain Evan said, "Amazingly, the team that won both at finals and the international competition last year didn't make the cut for finals this year. We feel vindicated for all the hard work we have done."

TARC teams design, build, and launch rockets with two raw eggs in a payload bay, which must return unbroken. This year's contest goals are an altitude of 850 feet and a flight time of 44-46 seconds, and the total launch weight must not exceed 650 grams. Colorado teams are at a tremendous disadvantage compared with lowlands teams, because they may have to design and build an altogether new rocket to fly to a different altitude in Virginia at finals due to air density and humidity differences.

Official FaceBook Page:

Organizer and beneficiary

Justin Agostine
Colorado Springs, CO
CMCA TARC RocketryContest

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