JPII, Bob Jones qualify for The American Rocketry Challenge

MADISON – The American Rocketry Challenge or TARC has announced 100 national finalists, which include student teams from Bob Jones High School and St. John Paul II Catholic High School or JPII. The teams qualified to compete in the 2023 National TARC.

TARC, the world’s largest student rocketry competition, involves seven-member teams. Officials selected two teams from JPII and one from Bob Jones.

Only 100 of the 798 teams will represent 45 states in TARC on May 20 in The Plains, VA. Finalists are competing for $100,000 in prizes and the title of national champion, which includes an all-expense paid trip to compete in International Rocketry Challenge at the Paris Air Show in June.

Each team designed, built and launched model rockets to safely carry one large hen egg to an altitude of 850 feet, stay airborne for between 42 and 45 seconds and return the rocket to the ground safely. One rocket section must contain the egg and altimeter, and the second with motor(s). Both tubes must separate after apogee and land with their own parachutes.

The two JPII teams are Falcon Rocketeers with Co-Captains Juliet Spradlin and Stephen Hibbs and Noah’s TARC with Co-Captains Catherine Hare and Sophia Damen. Faculty Sponsor is Science Department Chair Brian Finzel. The school TARC volunteer is Duane Mayer.

Jonathan Bailey sponsors the Bob Jones rocketry teams. “The Bob Jones Rocketry Team competes in TARC each year,” Bailey stated in his profile (. “Through the process, our students learn to design and build model rockets and the science that goes into them. We try to launch at least once in the fall and multiple times in the spring for our competition.”

Huntsville Area Rocketry Association or HARA provides data to the National Association of Rocketry to validate TARC team scores. HARA members annually assist with NASA’s college rocketry competition in Huntsville.

TARC also leads as the aerospace and defense industry’s main program designed to inspire students to pursue study and STEM professions. The challenge has motivated many students on TARC teams to work as aerospace engineers and other STEM careers.

For more information, visit rocketcontest.org.

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