Rocket Scientists Foiled by Fractured Egg!
UPDATE: Anton's team took first place for Middle School Engineering at the First Annual Nassau County STEM Competition held on May 18 at the Cradle of Aviation Museum!
May 11, 2013
Seventh grade students from The Green Vale School in Old Brookville were the youngest rocket scientists competing nationally on May 11 for the first place prize of $10,000 and a team trip to the Paris Air Show in June. They were the only team from Long Island qualified to compete at the Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC) held in Virginia, and one of only two teams from the State of New York. Just being there was a huge accomplishment, but their goal was to win that trip to Paris.
The way to win in 2013 was to build a rocket weighing less than 650 grams that could fly exactly 750 feet into the air and back with a 15-inch parachute, within 48 to 50 seconds. Any deviation in height or time adds points to a team's score. After the first round of competition, the boys’ score was 5.92, putting them in third place out of 100 teams. After the second round, for the top 24 rockets, their total score was 8.92 which put them in first place. Their rocket flew as close to a perfect score of zero as any rocket ever flown in the 11-year history of TARC, and the high school team from Texas that landed in first place did so with a score of 29.24.
The hitch for Green Vale’s team, captained by Anton, was that their rocket's payload of a single raw egg suffered a hairline fracture during their second flight, disqualifying their second score. "Broken egg; broken hearts," was all that Peter Zaloom, science teacher and rocket club mentor, could say of the results as he explained what happened. “The boys did the most impressive job of building and fine-tuning their rocket so that it would hit the mark and I am so very proud of them now, and I look forward to watching them compete again next year.”
This is the third year in a row that the Green Vale School Rocket Club has qualified to compete nationally at TARC. Sponsored by the Aerospace Industries Association, the National Association of Rocketry and more than 24 industry partners, TARC saw record turnout in 2013 with 725 teams from 44 states participating.