MINSTER – The Minster STEM Club has qualified three teams to compete in the national finals of the 17th annual Team America Rocketry Challenge.
The Minster teams beat out 830 other teams from across the United States and will face off against 100 top rocketry teams in their quest to claim the national finals. The TARC finals will take place on May 18 at Great Meadow in The Plains, Virginia, outside of Washington, D.C.
“The students worked incredibly hard to meet the requirements for this year’s competition, which are even more challenging than in recent years” STEM Club adviser Ted Oldiges said. “These are truly innovative kids who have gained experience with problem-solving, teamwork and creativity. I’m very proud of what they’ve achieved.”
TARC is the aerospace and defense industry’s flagship program designed to encourage students to pursue study and careers in science, technology, engineering and math. The competition challenges middle and high school students to design, build and fly a rocket that meets specific altitude and flight duration parameters. This year’s rules require a rocket carrying three raw eggs to reach 856 feet before returning the eggs to Earth, uncracked, all within 43 to 46 seconds and under strict weight and height requirements.
This is the 10th year a team from the Minster STEM Club has qualified for the national finals. The team’s best finish occurred in 2018 when it advanced to the finals fly-off finishing fourth in the county, earning the team $10,000.
The Minster STEM Club will compete for more than $100,000 in prizes and scholarships and the opportunity to represent the United States at the International Rocketry Challenge taking place in July at the Paris Air Show in Paris, France. At the international fly-off, teams from the United Kingdom, France and Japan will face the United States champions for the international title. The top 20 teams will be invited to next year’s NASA Student Launch Competition.
The 33 Minster STEM Club members include Riley Arnold, Owen Barhorst, Justin Bergman, Chase Couse, Logan Dirksen, Leland Frick, Alex Frimel, Ryan Halpin, Josh Kies, Caleb Kies, Andrew Kogge, Logan Kohne, Jack Kohne, Fletcher Luthman, Tristan McDaniel, Craig Monnin, Johnny Nixon, Hannah Oldiges, Nathan Oldiges, Cedric Ranly, Kyle Riethman, Adam Rindler, Eli Rindler, John Schmiesing, Alex Schmitmeyer, Chad Schulze, Cory Schulze, Kaleb Sharp, Keetan Sharp, Ben Stammen, Lucas Stammen, Tyler Stueve and Austin Wellman.
“Us seventh graders were completely new to rocketry,” Hannah Oldiges said. “But TARC really drew us in and opened our eyes to the incredible possibilities and opportunities in rocketry and aerospace. I plan to take more advanced science classes and maybe even major in something related to aerospace in college.”
Sponsored by the Aerospace Industries Association, the National Association of Rocketry and more than 20 industry partners, TARC is the world’s largest rocket contest. Now in its 17th year, TARC has inspired more than 70,000 middle and high school students to explore education and careers in STEM fields. This year, 830 teams representing 46 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands designed and built model rockets in hopes of qualifying for the national finals.
The Minster STEM Club is sponsored by The Journeyman’s Club and Civic Association.
Follow the teams on Facebook at @minsterstem, Twitter at @minsterstem or visit www.minsterstemclub.com. For more information about TARC, visit www.rocketcontest.org.