“The American Rocketry Challenge is the world’s largest rocket contest with nearly 5,000 students nationwide competing each year. The contest gives middle and high school students the opportunity to design, build and launch model rockets and hands-on experience solving engineering problems.” (rocketcontest.org 2015)
The St. Agnes TARC team was established in 2016. There were two teams consisting of ten seventh and eighth grade students each. Teams were mentored by Mr. Gary Cole, a National Association of Rocketry (NAR) member, and three teachers, Mrs. Schleimer, Mrs. Turner, and Mr. Scott. Kansas STARBASE has been our financial partner for all four years of our program. They not only offer financial assistance but have been our biggest supporters during our after school meetings at launches. Kansas STARBASE has made it possible for our team to participate in this competition each year.
This original team worked throughout the 2016-17 school year to design, build, test and compete in the 2017 National competition in Washington, D.C. One team qualified for the national finals. This team would go on to place 31 out of the 100 qualifying teams at finals.
Each subsequent year has brought on a new rocketry challenge, and the two teams continue to work, using Engineering notebooks, Rock.sim (a rocketry CAD program), and dedication to compete.
This club meets during STREAM Wednesdays from August to December, and after school once to twice a week through December as well. Qualification flights are completed by April and the team waits each year to see if they will qualify as they did in 2017.
TARC has given our students the opportunity to meet one of the St. Agnes missions: To guide and promote our students in becoming independent, critical-thinking, problem-solvers. Students who graduate from St. Agnes will be more proficient at meeting the high 21st Century standards today’s new workforce demands.