Students from Madison West High School in Madison, Wis., compete against French, U.K. teams
Farnborough, we have liftoff!
The 2012 International Rocketry Challenge ignites Friday, July 13, when teams from France, the United Kingdom and the United States will vie in the international fly-off match for the world championship title. Hailing from Madison, Wis., the Madison West High School team is representing America in Madison West’s second appearance on the global stage since 2009.
Team members Suzanne Hanle, Meng Lou, Hanwook Chung and Tashi Atruktsant and coach Chris Hager are hoping to follow the footsteps of the Rockwall-Heath High School Heath Side Rocketry Boys, which won the 2011 international challenge. The U.S. also won in 2010, and the U.K won in 2008 and 2009.
“We’re super excited and ready to take on the world,” Suzanne said. “We’re looking forward to showing our rocketry skills to an international crowd.”
Celebrating its fifth anniversary, the International Rocketry Challenge enables student rocketeers to show the world their expertise in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
The international event is the culmination of three separate competitions: the Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC), the United Kingdom Aerospace Youth Rocketry Challenge and the French Rocketry Challenge. Each contest allows teams of middle and high school students to design, build and launch model rockets.
“The rocketry challenge provides a tangible way for students to apply math and science concepts outside of classroom and to get their first aerospace experience,” said Anne Ward, TARC and special events manager for the Aerospace Industries Association, which sponsors TARC.
“Aerospace and defense companies such as Raytheon understand the importance of finding innovative ways to excite students about science and math education. They see the rocketry challenge as a great way for students to apply their classroom knowledge to develop real-world solutions.”
The intercontinental competition is part of the 2012 Farnborough International Airshow in Farnborough, England. Raytheon sponsors the winning U.S. team, providing them with the opportunity to compete in the world challenge, visit the airshow and tour London.
For the Madison team, coach Hager couldn’t be prouder of the squad’s tenacity.
“Our success is in large part due to the meticulous data keeping and the sheer magnitude of practice launches,” she said. “We’ve had our best year yet, and I’m incredibly happy for our team to have this opportunity.”