Students from Creekview High School in Georgia recently won the 2018 National Fly-Off in a country-wide competition called the Team America Rocketry Challenge. As a result, the Creekview High aeronautics team will soon be representing the United States in an international competition.
The students, most of whom are 17 or 18 years old, built and flew rockets against other aeronautics teams from across the country. As part of the National Fly-Off competition, these rockets carried two eggs to a height of 800 feet and then had to get the eggs back to the ground without breaking them. All of this had to be completed within 41 to 43 seconds.
The Team America Rocketry Challenge is in its 16th year, and the winning team from Creekview High are just some of the 70,000 students who have participated in the event at that time. The event sparks an interest in the fields of technology, engineering, math and science, and it encourages some students to pursue a career in those fields. While the early competitions were made up of predominately male competitors, more female students have participated in recent years. This year, almost 30% of the total students participating were girls, and there were actually 12 all-girl teams.
There’s a certain degree of pressure that comes with the competition. Getting the rockets to the correct altitude is only part of the task. The teams also have to contend with getting the eggs back to the ground safely and doing it all within the allotted time period. The Creekview team definitely has some confidence now that they’ve won the national competition, and they’ll need it for the global contest.
The international competition, which will take place in London, July 19-20, will essentially have the same rules, where teams will need to launch their rockets with two raw eggs on board and return them safely to the ground. Most of the team members from Creekview High agree that even if they don’t win the international competition, the experience of winning the national competition has been great for them. They’ve not only learned about the technical aspects of rocket building, but they’ve also learned the value of teamwork.