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KSAT heads to nation's capitol for aerospace competition

The KSAT Team

The 2013-2014 KSAT SLT: Audra Blazicko, Maya Fajardo, Alexa Granados, Aaron Mayfield, Joshua Ward,Sarah Poupart, teacher Tracy Thomas, and NAR/Tripoloi 
volunteer Raymond Kinsel.

Sixteen students from KSAT(Krueger School of Applied Technologies) beat out more than 700 teams from across the country to advance to the national finals of the Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC). After months of preparation and a strong showing in TARC’s qualifying round, 5 teams from KSAT will travel to Great Meadow in The Plains, Va. for a final fly-off on May 10.

With 5,000 annual participants, TARC is the world’s largest student rocket contest and a key piece of the aerospace industry’s strategy to build a stronger U.S. workforce in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). In one of the most difficult challenges in the competition’s 12-year history, teams must design and build a model rocket that can travel to exactly 825 feet and back within 48-50 seconds while carrying precious cargo — two raw eggs that must return safely to the ground undamaged.

“These are truly innovative students who have gained tremendous experience with problem-solving, teamwork and finding creative solutions,” said Tracy Thomas, who also teaches high powered rocketry at KSAT.

KSAT’s team is competing for $60,000 in scholarships and prizes, as well as bragging rights for earning the national title. The winning team will travel to the Farnborough International Air Show in England this July to launch against students from the United Kingdom and France in an international rocketry contest.

Sponsored by the Aerospace Industries Association, the National Association of Rocketry and many aerospace industry partners, TARC aims to bolster U.S. student engagement with STEM. In a 2010 survey among competition alumni, approximately 80 percent of respondents said they planned to pursue a STEM-focused college major.

“Team America has been a great experience. I have been exposed to numerous software simulation/data collection programs, the engineering process, meetings with a local engineer, the discipline of teamwork, and have had fun at the same time," said KSAT student, Audra Blazicko. "My team and I are really looking forward to competing in the Team America Rocketry Challenge this year!”

For more information about TARC 2014, please visit
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Posted on April 24, 2014