PA Students Win Championship at 8th Annual TARC, Will
Represent US in Int'l Fly-Off
With spectacular weather and some
of the finest professional and amateur rocket researchers and
hobbyists in the world to overlook the proceedings, the 2010 TARC
is an unqualified success. A team from Penn Manor High School in
Millersville, PA, took first place at the Eighth Annual TARC,
Saturday, earning the title of national champion.
The enthusiasm these talented students brought today was truly
electric. The four-member team won the world’s largest rocket
contest after spending months designing, building and test
launching their model rocket. The Team America Rocketry Challenge
kicked off last September with 669 teams from across the nation
vying for a chance to compete among the top 100 qualifying teams at
the finals held today outside of Washington, D.C.
“In preparation for the national finals, we analyzed our
data and adjusted our rocket as we repeatedly test launched,”
said Brendan Stoeckl, Penn Manor High School team member.
“Today we anticipated some wind and increased afternoon
temperatures, and made just the right adjustments to bring home the
The first place team logged the winning score of 26.32. Each
point represents a deviation from altitude and time aloft targets,
so the lower the score, the better. Marticville Middle School from
Pequea, PA, took second place with a score of 30.65, while Bob
Jones High School from Madison, Ala., placed third with a score of
The first and second place teams belong to the same rocket club,
Penn Manor Rocket Club, and were mentored by Brian Osmolinski.
Osmolinski, a physics teacher and director of the rocket club,
helped mentor four teams to the national finals. Members of the
winning Penn Manor High School team are: Brendan Stoeckl, Jordan
Franssen, Nate Bernhardt, and Tyler Funk, who are all 12th
This year, student teams were challenged to design, build and
launch a model rocket to an altitude of 825 feet with a flight time
of 40-45 seconds, as well as return a raw egg payload to the ground
unbroken without a parachute.
The contest, sponsored by the Aerospace Industries Association
and the National Association of Rocketry, is intended to spark
students’ interest in aerospace careers and in science,
technology, engineering and mathematics — or STEM —
college degree programs. Almost 60 percent of the U.S. aerospace
workforce is 45 or older and beginning to retire in large numbers,
according to AIA statistics.
Scott C. Donnelly, AIA chairman and president and CEO of
Textron, noted how TARC has proven to be a great success in
attracting young people to consider careers in aerospace and
advancing their studies in STEM fields.
"The enthusiasm these talented students brought today was truly
electric," Donnelly said. "The teams not only come away with a real
aerospace product after months of hands-on trial and error, but
also demonstrate a keen understanding of the fundamentals of
rocketry using physics, math and teamwork. We also had the pleasure
of welcoming back TARC alumni who, as rising stars in the industry,
are a testament to the success of the program in inspiring the next
generation of aerospace innovators.”
The Penn Manor High School team wins a trip to the Farnborough
International Air Show in July, sponsored for the fifth year by
Raytheon Company, a major supporter of the competition and will
compete against the UK and French national champions in the
International Youth Rocketry Challenge. The winning team shares a
prize pool of more than $60,000 with other top finishers.
Lockheed Martin Corporation provides $5,000 scholarships to each
of the top three teams, and the top 20 teams also will receive an
invitation from NASA to participate in its Student Launch
Initiative, an advanced rocketry program. Other sponsors include
the Defense Department, the American Association of Physics
Teachers and AIA member companies.
AIA created the Team America Rocketry Challenge in 2003 to
celebrate the centennial of flight and to generate interest in
aerospace careers among young people. Since its inception, more
than 50,000 youths have participated in the contest.
ANN and Aero-TV were there and have quite a few programs in
production to document this pivotal event...