The American Rocketry Challenge

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.

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2021 Updated Prizes and Awards

We’ve announced our prize updates for the 2021 competition! This year we’re still giving out more than $100,000 in cash and prizes. With new ways to win in the National Finals, and all of our virtual competitions returning, read more about the ways your team can win.


2021 Competition Changes and Updates

The safety of the American Rocketry Challenge community is our top priority. To protect our teams, teachers, mentors, and their families during the COVID-19 crisis, while still building the next generation of STEM leaders, we are making three key changes to the 2021 National Finals:

  1. TIMING: The National Finals will now take place in mid-late June 2021. This extra time will provide teams with more opportunities to build and launch their rockets. This also means that the revised deadline for qualification flights is now May 17, 2021.
  1. LOCATION: The 2021 National Finals will occur at ten or more regional launch sites in order to limit the number of people that gather at any one site and to minimize team travel requirements. Regional launch sites will be selected based on the location of this year’s finalists.
  1. PRIZES: We are reviewing our prize structure for the 2021 contest, given the cancellation of the Paris Air Show.  Standby for another update unveiling new categories and cash prizes in the coming weeks.


Review the 2021 Competition Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions about the 2021 National Finals and virtual competition? We have answers. Review our Frequently Asked Questions to learn more about the updates to the 2021 competition.

April 2021 Ask an Engineer Webinar with Elbit Systems of America

April 22 at 8 PM EST

Our Ask an Engineer webinar series is your chance to ask some of the most fascinating people in the aerospace industry how your work in the American Rocketry Challenge will come in handy while building rockets that will carry the next astronauts to the Moon, Mars, and beyond!

The World's Largest Student Rocket Contest

Registration for the 2021 American Rocketry Challenge is now closed. Learn how your team can compete in this exciting STEM competition next year!

Learn more about the American Rocketry Challenge

Thank You To Our Sponsors & Partners

The American Rocketry Challenge allows me to engage and participate in a nationwide competition while learning and having fun with people that have similar likes and talents.

Kyra Wagner, Team Captain
Webster City, IA

The American Rocketry Challenge provides me the opportunity to give my students an endeavor that fosters curiosity, imagination, and scientific skills in the firmest spirit of collaborative enterprise.

Greg Severino, Teacher
Philadelphia, PA

TARC introduces students to the realities of the real world engineering pursuits, teaching them to attack not just the solvable problems but also face and learn how to mitigate the factors that they do not have control over.

Pavel Pinkas, Mentor
Madison, WI

Our Social Media

3 days ago
Want to learn about all the different paths a career in aerospace can take and what you can do to get there? Join @ElbitSystemsUS engineers Alyssa, Kaitlin, and Ashley on April 22 for our next "Ask an Engineer" webinar series. RSVP: RocketContest photo
2 weeks ago
🖥️ TUNE IN: Tonight at 8pm ET, rocketry expert Trip Barber shares his flight testing best practices to help you nail that perfect #TARC2021 score. RSVP: RocketContest photo
3 weeks ago
Check your inboxes! 2021 Prize Update featuring our most out-of-this-world prize ever! Hint: 🌑
RocketContest photo
3 weeks ago
We're excited to bring you legendary rocketeer Trip Barber for #TARC2021 and rocketry tips & tricks. Want to know why your egg broke? How to launch in wind? Trip's got the answers. Join us April 7 and RSVP here:
RocketContest photo
4 weeks ago
We know these checklists all too well...a bit less familiar with 700,000 gallons of propellant❗👀 RocketContest photo
1 month ago
LIVE at 8pm ET / 5pm PT - Ask an Engineer webinar with @northropgrumman's Mike Fuller. We're talking @NASA_SLS, #NASA Mars missions and more. Tune in here:

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