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The School Buzz: Vanguard rocketry team competing for national title

A student-run rocket team from the Vanguard School in Colorado Springs may be among the nation's best.

The team is competing for the American Rocketry Challenge national championship May 14 outside Washington D.C. The club has competed in the challenge every year since 2003 and it's their 11th year in the finals.

The team has to design, build and launch a model rocket that safely carries two raw eggs to a target altitude of 835 feet, with a target flight duration of 41 – 44 seconds. And the students have worked so hard: 2-4 hours after school each week since August; 4-5 hours, two Saturdays each month, since November.

They’ve learned rocket design, engineering, computer simulation, and even basic sewing for parachutes.

The club’s mentor is Steven Riegel. He says, “Throughout the year, they've had tremendous attitudes and commitment to improving.  Even on days when the test launches didn't go as well as hoped, they pulled together to sort out the problem, find a solution, and prepare for the next round."

The competition is the aerospace and defense industry’s flagship program designed to encourage more students to pursue careers in STEM. Teams are competing for $100,000 in prize money, with the winning team going to the international finals in London; the top 25 teams get invites to NASA’s Student Launch workshop.

Do you know a remarkable club, program, teacher or student at your school? Email us!

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Josh Helmuth

Josh is an anchor for Good Morning Colorado. Learn more about Josh here.


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