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.
The Challenge was originally conceived as a one-time contest to celebrate the 100th anniversary of flight. After receiving hundreds of requests from students, teachers and parents, the Aerospace Industries Association and its partners decided to continue the program to challenge students year-in and year-out, with varying in performance specifications. Nearly seventeen years later, the competition is only growing stronger.
This year’s national finals, taking place on May 18th, 2019, is themed around the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing and challenges students to design, build and fly a rocket carrying three raw egg in a capsule to an altitude of 856 feet and return it to ground with the eggs intact within 43-46 seconds. The winner receives an all-expenses paid trip to the Paris Air Show in 2019, along with the chance to represent the United States at the International Rocketry Challenge against teams from France, Japan and the United Kingdom.
Alumni of the Rocketry Challenge have gone on to attend top universities and work as engineers at some of the top aerospace manufacturers in the country.
Sponsored by the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA), the National Association of Rocketry (NAR) and more than 20 aerospace industry partners, The American Rocketry Challenge is the aerospace industry’s flagship program designed to encourage students to study science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Other partners providing support for the program include the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Department of Defense, the American Association of Physics Teachers and The Mars Generation.
A pool of over $100,000 in cash and prizes is shared by the top 10 teams, with Raytheon Company sponsoring the winning team’s trip to participate in the International Rocketry Challenge.
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The International Rocketry Challenge is the culmination of four separate competitions held annually around the globe: The American Rocketry Challenge sponsored by the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) and the National Association of Rocketry (NAR); the United Kingdom Aerospace Youth Rocketry Challenge (UKAYRoC) sponsored by ADS, the UK Aerospace, Defense, Security and Space association; and the French Rocketry Challenge sponsored by Groupement des Industries Francaises Aeronautiques et Spatiales (GIFAS), the French aerospace industries association and the Japanese Rocketry Challenge, sponsored by the Society of Japanese Aerospace Companies and the Japan Association of Rocketry.
The winning team from The American Rocketry Challenge National Finals in May will represent the United States in the competition, courtesy of the Raytheon Company.