Immaculate Conception School Excels in National Rocketry Competitionby Jennifer Fecio McDougall
Teams from East Aurora's Immaculate Conception School traveled to Washington, DC to participate in the 12th annual Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC). TARC, the world's largest student rocket contest, provides middle and high school students with the opportunity to design, build, and launch model rockets in a competition with more than 5,000 students throughout the United States.
TARC is a flagship program of the aerospace and defense industry to encourage students in their study of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The long-term goal is to provide students with the interest and foundation to pursue careers in these fields. TARC is sponsored by the Aerospace Industries Association, the National Association of Rocketry (NAR), and more than 20 industry partners.
712 teams, representing 48 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands, participated in the Challenge. Notably, Immaculate Conception's team was made up of middle school students, while most other teams were made up of high school students. 412 of the original 712 teams submitted data in an effort to qualify for the final competition in Washington, DC. 101 teams were selected to participate in that competition, and two of the teams were from Immaculate Conception School.
At the end of the competition, Immaculate Conception's teams stood, impressively, in 15th place and 50th place. Immaculate Conception students won an award for best outreach team. This award, which included a $300 prize, recognized the team for their efforts to grow the TARC program in Western New York.
Immaculate Conception School's teams expressed gratitude to Moog, Inc., for financial support and volunteer mentoring; the teams were mentored by Moog engineers Roger Lipke, Lance Over, John Mullane, and David Gromek.
Students at Immaculate Conception have already formed TARC teams for 2014-2015, and they are in the planning stages of designing rockets for next year's competition.