US Middle School Students Win International Rocketry Challenge
The U.S. team wins. Members of the winning rocketry team, all eighth graders from Odle Middle School in Bellevue, Washington, included Mikaela Ikeda, 12; Stephanie Han, 13; Srivatshan Sakthinarayanan, 14; Karl Deerkop, 14; and Larry Jing 14.
“Representing the entire country was really intimidating,” said Mikaela Ikeda, captain of the Odle Middle School “Space Potatoes” rocketry team. “Luckily, we had each other for support and everyone did their jobs perfectly!”
How the Competition Works
For the competitions teams designed, built and launched rockets with a goal of reaching an altitude of exactly 850 feet within a 44- to 46-second flight window. This year’s contest required rockets to carry two raw eggs, placed perpendicular to each other in the rocket’s body, a task that complicated rocket design. Scores were determined by how close the rockets approached the required height and time; cracked eggs would disqualify the flight.
The U.S. team, sponsored by the Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN), bested teams from the United Kingdom, France and Japan. This is the second straight year a team from the United States claimed the international title.
The contest, which is intended to build communication and presentation skills, counted for 40 percent of their total competition score. The U.S. took first place in this portion of the challenge.
Scient,Technology, Engineering, and Math
Each contest brings together teams of middle and high school students to design, build and launch model rockets with the goal of inspiring young minds to become engaged in science, technology, engineering and math, STEM.
The International Rocketry Challenge is the culmination of four separate competitions held annually around the globe: the Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC) sponsored by the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) and the National Association of Rocketry (NAR); the United Kingdom Aerospace Youth Rocketry Challenge (UKAYRoC) sponsored by ADS, the UK Aerospace, Defense, Security and Space association; the French Rocketry Challenge sponsored by Groupement des Industries Francaises Aeronautiques et Spatiales (GIFAS), the French aerospace industries association; and, for the first time, the Japanese Rocketry Challenge, sponsored by the Society of Japanese Aerospace Companies and the Japan Association of Rocketry.