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Students from Walter Strom and the high school team up to form teams on rocketry. This is an exciting challenge for our students and an excellent STEM opportunity!  You may email Justin White for more information, or read on...

TARC Publicity & Informational Handout


$60,000 in Annual Prizes for Students & Schools

  • This event is an annual nation-wide rocketry-based aerospace design and flying challenge competition for student teams of 7th-12th graders.

  • It is conducted each year starting in September, leading to a competitive face-to-face fly-off in mid-May among the top 100 teams. The prizes are $60,000 in cash plus a free trip to the Paris or Farnborough (England) Air Shows for 1st place. The fly-off is held at The Plains, VA, near Washington, DC.

  • It is sponsored by the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) on behalf of America’s aerospace industry, and by the non-profit National Association of Rocketry (NAR).


    The purpose of the Challenge is to teach students aerospace science and systems engineering by having them design and build a safe and stable model rocket that lifts a fragile raw egg payload to an exact altitude in the range of 800 feet (the precise target varies each year) and has a flight duration of 48 to 50 seconds, at the end of which it returns this payload to earth safely and undamaged with a specified parachute recovery system.

    • Models must be made of non-metal materials such as balsa, paper and plastic, must weigh no more than 650 grams at liftoff, and must use commercially-made, NAR safety-certified model rocket motors in power class “F” and below widely available in local hobby stores.

    • Altitudes are determined by a small, accurate commercially-made electronic barometric altimeter carried within the rocket, and read after the flight.


    • Entry is open to groups of 3 to 10 students (7th - 12th grade) who must enter as a team sponsored by a public or private school, home school association, or non-profit youth group.

    • Visit the event website <> to register. Entry opens in early September and closes December 1. Visit the NAR website <> for information about America's largest sport rocketry organization and check out the “Educational Resources” web page while you are there. 


Team America Rocketry Challenge

The Industry Challenge: Tens of thousands of engineers will retire in the next decade. In an effort to encourage students to study math and science and to consider related careers, the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) and the National Association of Rocketry (NAR) created the world’s largest model rocket design and launch contest, the Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC).

TARC participants learn the basics of engineering design used by scientists and engineers in the real world. Students must design, build, and fly a model rocket that carries two raw eggs to an altitude of exactly 825 feet, stays airborne for 48 to 50 seconds, and returns to the ground by two parachutes with the egg payload uncracked. The process of designing, building, and flying a moderately complex flight vehicle teaches many concepts of teamwork as well as physics, engineering, aerodynamics, flight mechanics, stability, and electrical circuitry.

Now in its twelfth year, TARC is sponsored by AIA and the National Association of Rocketry, with co- sponsorship by NASA, the Defense Department, the American Association of Physics Teachers, and AIA member companies.

Guests: The day-long final competition includes extended availability of prominent officials from NASA and DoD. Many distinguished guests have attended the TARC Finals each year, including Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley and former Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin. Previous year’s finals also receive live national media coverage, including extended coverage on CNN, NBC and CBS.

Participation: Teams consist of three to ten students in 7th through 12th grades. After completing local qualification flights, the top 100 teams nationwide are invited to Virginia for a national final fly-off in mid May in The Plains, VA. The winning team competes in an international fly-off with the winner of the British and French versions of TARC in June 2014.

Contact mentor for more information: email Justin White