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April 9, 2013 > Newark rockets soar to national competition

Newark rockets soar to national competition

Submitted By Andrea Springsteen

Rocketeers from Newark hope to repeat the success of a Newark Memorial High School team that placed 11th in 2006 and returned to national competition in 2007 to take the top spot in The Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC). This year, TARC competition will be held May 11, 2013 in The Plains, Virginia and three Newark rocket teams have qualified (one team from Newark Junior High School and two teams from Newark Memorial High School) to attend the competition. California Teacher of the Year (2012) Tom Collett is leading the team from Newark Jr. High School and Chemistry teacher Geral Liang will guide the teams from Newark Memorial High School.

The contest challenges rocketry teams from around the country to send a rocket 750 feet in the air with a raw egg payload; the egg must land safely in 48 to 50 seconds. As the Aerospace Industries Association's signature program and the only aerospace-specific national STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) competition, TARC has reached over 55,000 students in the past decade and involved over 3,000 students in 48 states during the 2012 season alone.

TARC competition is modeled around the aerospace industry's design, fabrication and testing processes. Teams of 3-10 students design, build, and fly a rocket within specific design parameters. The challenge is for the rocket to achieve a precise altitude within a specific flight time and return the "astronaut," placed in a horizontal position, unscathed.

The contest gives students an opportunity to apply math and science skills to real world, hands-on aerodynamics lessons in a non-classroom setting. Teams must apply concepts and complex design issues such as propulsion, trajectory and drag, common in the aerospace industry.

National competition is exciting and rewarding but is expensive as well; the teams are looking for sponsors to help defray costs. Those interested in providing assistance, please contact: Tom Collett (Newark Jr. High School and Gerald Liang (Newark Memorial High School).

More information about TARC can be found at:

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