World's Largest Rocket Contest Finalists Revealed For May 15 'Fly Off' <


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World's Largest Rocket Contest Finalists Revealed For May 15 'Fly Off'

Steve Hall

April 10, 2010 - Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) announced the nation's top 100 student rocketry teams that will compete in the final round of the Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC).

The finalists include teams from 30 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands who qualified after months of preparation from a field of 669 squads and thousands of students. 

The eighth annual TARC, the world's largest rocket contest will take place Saturday, May 15, at Great Meadow in The Plains, Va. Qualifying teams of middle- and high-school students have the chance to earn $60,000 in scholarships and prizes. The TARC champion will also win the opportunity to compete internationally at an air show near London in July.  

"This year's TARC contest will be among the most competitive in its eight-year history because of the high number of teams that are participating," said AIA President and CEO Marion C. Blakey. 

"It's an exciting time for young people to be exposed to rocketry and all the aerospace industry has to offer. We're seeing a real surge in our industry with TARC alumni taking advantage of exciting career opportunities with many of our member companies." 

TARC teams are challenged to design, build and launch a model rocket with a raw-egg payload to an altitude of 825 feet and achieve a flight duration between 40 and 45 seconds.

The rocket must return the egg safely and unbroken without using a parachute. The goal of the contest is to bolster student interest in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields and attract more young people into aerospace careers. The STEM labor force is aging. Across all degree levels and fields, about 26 percent of workers with science or engineering degrees are older than age 50.   

AIA co-sponsors the world's largest rocket contest event with the National Association of Rocketry in conjunction with NASA, the Defense Department, the American Association of Physics teachers and more than 30 AIA member companies, with Raytheon once again providing a fully paid trip for the winning team to the air show in July.  


NASA also invites top teams to participate in its Student Launch Initiative advanced rocketry program. More than 50,000 youth have participated in the contest since its inception in 2003. 

Founded in 1919, the Aerospace Industries Association represents the nation's leading manufacturers and suppliers of civil, military, and business aircraft, helicopters, unmanned aerial systems, space systems, aircraft engines, materiel, and related components, equipment services, and information technology.

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