Science club aimed high this year, challenging themselves to the competition of launching rockets several hundred feet in the air.
Taking on TARC, Team American Rocketry Challenge, national competition and came close to competing for the top 100 places. Beginning in January, the student-driven club began designing and launching their rockets.
The competition is based on a point-based system gaining points for every mistake made. The rocket was required to get at least 825 feet in the air, stay up for 48 to 52 seconds, and make sure the two eggs attached to the rocket came out unharmed.
“We came really close,” Eric Jones ‘16, said. “We only missed the cut off by a small amount.” The club scored 90 points in total, only 40 points behind the last qualified team. “40 points isn’t actually that much,” Jones said. “It’s about 20 feet difference for each flight.”
“It’s a fantastic score,” Mary Lestina, the club’s advisor said. “They worked very hard, completing everything on their own.” Competing in TARC for the second time, the club first attempt ended in their rockets crashing, resulting in immediate disqualification.
“I am really impressed in how far they’ve come,” Lestina said on the club’s progress.
In practice for the event, students broke only one egg and experienced one crash.
“It was our first flight,” Jones said. “Something was bound to happen.”
After seeing their results, the club has expressed interest in pursuing placement for TARC.
“We might begin a rocket club next year,” Jones explained. “Whether or not, I think we’ll be shooting rockets again.”