ALABAMA ROCKETRY TEAM BLASTS OFF TO PARISJune 16, 2015 | in News
Author: Ashley Gudzak —
The RCS Engineers may have claimed the title of U.S. student rocketry champions, but do they have what it takes to triumph over the winning teams from the UK and France? The seven-student rocketry team from Russellville, Alabama, is the winner of this year’s Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC). In May, the students faced off against stiff competition at the TARC national finals and claimed first place over 100 teams from across the country.
In addition to $20,000 in scholarships and prizes, the RCS Engineers won a trip to the Paris Air Show courtesy of Raytheon Company to represent the United States at the 2015 International Rocketry Competition.
The Alabama students will be arriving in Paris tomorrow. Cristian, Niles, Andrew, Katie, Evan, Cady and Chelsea are beyond excited for their trip and are looking forward to launching their rocket competitively again.
“Our team came into this year’s TARC competition with high hopes, but didn’t know how well we would actually do. In our previous two years we had not scored well enough to advance to the finals, but we were hopeful this year would be different,” said Andrew Heath, high school senior and team captain.
“Hours of hard work both in meetings and at home went into our final rocket design, and the qualifying results reflected that. We scored a total of twenty points in our two qualifying launches, which was good enough to get us to Washington. Everyone was ecstatic that we were able to compete at the national level.”
It’s safe to say that their hard work and dedication paid off. The RCS Engineers logged an impressive 16 points at the finals – less than half of the second place team’s score.
Since their big win, Andrew and his team have been revising their rocket to meet the new scoring parameters for the international competition. They will face off against teams from the UK and France this Friday at the Paris Air Show to see which team will claim the title of International Rocketry Champion.
“Overall, this year has been a great experience, especially being able to work with such a wonderful team and because of all of the support provided by Raytheon and the other TARC sponsors.”
I will be traveling with the team throughout their time in Paris and documenting their participation in the 2015 International Fly-off. Be sure to connect with AIA and TARC on social media to follow along with the team’s journey!
@RocketContest / @RCS_Engineering / #IntlFlyoff / #TARC2015