Wednesday, September 2, 2009

750 Student Teams Wanted for World's Largest Rocket Competition

/PRNewswire/ -- Registration for the world's largest rocket competition, the Team America Rocketry Challenge, is open to 750 student teams in grades 7-12 from any U.S. school, home school or non-profit youth organization. Registration for the 2010 spring contest is open now through November 30.

The annual rocket contest, sponsored by AIA, challenges teams of three to 10 students to design and build a rocket that will climb to 825 feet with a raw egg payload and stay aloft for 40 to 45 seconds. The payload must then return to earth unbroken. The 2010 contest rules and registration information are available at www.rocketcontest.org.

"The Team America Rocketry Challenge is fostering the next generation of engineers by sparking an interest in math and physics in a fun, team-based environment," said Marion Blakey, AIA president and CEO. "The students are often mentored by real-world engineers and scientists and many teams are sponsored by AIA member companies. TARC is truly an invaluable educational experience."

AIA sponsors TARC with the National Association of Rocketry, NASA, the Defense Department, the American Association of Physics Teachers and AIA member companies. The contest is in its eighth year and is proving to be the needed catalyst to generate interest in students with the sciences. According to a survey of TARC alumni:

-- 83 percent became more interested in science and math as a result of
TARC.
-- 81 percent gained a better understanding of how math, science, and
technology are used to solve problems in the real world.
-- 70 percent became more interested in a STEM career as a result of
TARC.
-- 67 percent intend to choose a STEM major in college.

The top 100 TARC team finalists are notified on April 9 that they have earned a trip to the competition May 15, just outside of Washington, DC. Student participants compete for $60,000 in prizes, scholarships and a trip to the 2010 international air show in London for an international "Fly-Off" with student teams from France and the UK.

The aerospace industry is actively looking for young people to join its ranks. The industry is facing a future workforce shortage as many employees will reach retirement age in the next decade. A recent Aviation Week and Space Technology survey found that almost 40 percent of the workforce is over the age of 50. For more information on careers in aerospace, visit www.launchintoaerospace.org.

Founded in 1919, the Aerospace Industries Association represents the nation's leading manufacturers and suppliers of civil, military, and business aircraft, helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles, space systems, aircraft engines, materiel, and related components, equipment services, and information technology.

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