Students from St. Vincent St. Mary High School in Akron and Immaculate Heart of Mary School in Cuyahoga Falls will participate May 18 in the Team America Rocketry Challenge National Finals.
The local students will compete against 99 other teams at the competition, which will take place at the Great Meadow in The Plains, Va. In addition to competing for $100,000 in prizes, the winner will advance to the International Rocketry Challenge, taking place in Paris, France, in June. The top 20 finishers will earn a spot in next year’s NASA Student Launch competition.
The Team America Rocketry Challenge is designed to encourage students to pursue study and careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The competition challenges middle and high school students to design, build, and fly a rocket that meets rigorous altitude and flight duration parameters through a series of certified, qualifying launches.
In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, this year’s rules require a rocket carrying three raw eggs, representing the Apollo astronauts, to reach 856 feet before returning the uncracked eggs to Earth — all within 43 to 46 seconds.
The event is sponsored by the Aerospace Industries Association, the National Association of Rocketry, and more than 20 industry partners. This year, 830 teams representing 46 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands designed and built model rockets hoping to qualify for the National Finals.