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TARC winners Creekview High School to represent US in IRC at FIA

Posted 13 May 2018 · Add Comment

Creekview High School team from Canton, Georgia, has triumphed against 799 rocketry teams from across America to win the world’s largest student rocketry contest – the Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC) – and represent the United States in the International Rocketry Challenge (IRC) being held at the Farnborough International Airshow (FIA) this July, competing against teams from the UK, France and Japan.


Courtesy AIA

The team’s victory follows months of preparation designing, building, and testing a rocket capable of meeting rigorous mission parameters set by the contest’s sponsors – the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) and National Association of Rocketry. Today’s Final Fly-off was an all-day event held at Great Meadow in The Plains, Va., outside of Washington, D.C. A team from Creekview also took home the top prize at the 2014 edition of the Rocketry Challenge. One member of the 2014 championship team returned to coach this year’s team from Creekview.

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.

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.

Brayden Dodge, 18, led the Creekview team. He said: “I want to thank god for allowing us to get this victory and give us the perfect conditions for both of our launches so we can be put in this position to represent the US,” Dodge said of the victory. “The Team America Rocketry Challenge inspires thousands of kids across the nation to get into STEM and it’s really an amazing experience to come out here and see what teams can do.”

For his senior project, Dodge decided to mentor aspiring rocketeers at the middle school across the street, Creekland Middle School, helping to create a talent pipeline that will keep his school in the contest for years to come. This year, Creekland Middle School was a Top 100 finalist and competed in the finals at Great Meadow.

The Top 100 teams, hailing from 28 states and the District of Columbia, competed for a total of $100,000 in prize money and scholarships at the national finals. The $100,000 prize pool will be split among the Top 10 teams. The US champions from Creekview took home the top prize of $20,000.

“This competition demonstrates to high school students across the country how they can solve difficult challenges by working together as a team and using their knowledge of science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” said AIA Chairman and Raytheon Chairman and CEO Tom Kennedy. “I am hopeful they will take these lessons with them as they become our next generation of engineers, scientists, technologists and mathematicians who will unlock incredible innovations to make the world a better place.”

AIA President and CEO Eric Fanning congratulated the winners: “All of these students and their schools should be incredibly proud of today’s competition. They are the best of the best. After seeing them in action, I have no doubt that the aerospace industry has a bright future. And to today’s rocket contest winners from Creekview, I’m looking forward to cheering you on this summer at the international competition in London.”

 

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