London, UK (July 22, 2022) – Today, a 10-student team from Newport High School in Bellevue, WA placed second at the International Rocketry Challenge held at the Farnborough International Airshow outside London. The Washington state team, who were representing the United States, finished behind Team Japan, with France and the United Kingdom placing third and fourth, respectively, in the international competition’s triumphant return to flight after the 2020 and 2021 contests were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The annual competition challenges middle and high school students to design, build, and launch model rockets to exacting requirements with the goal of inspiring students to pursue careers in aerospace and STEM.
Team Japan’s win was the country’s first ever title in the International Rocketry Challenge and is the first time an all-girls team claimed the top prize.
The Newport High School team includes Arthur Gwozdz, Samuel Chen, Rita Liu, Rose Liu, Brandon Luo, Ethan Luo, Kavin Manivasagam, Vanu Rao, Shreyas Subramanian, and Minghan Sun. Newport High School earned the chance to represent the United States in the international competition after placing first at the American Rocketry Challenge national finals on May 14 in The Plains, Virginia.
“I am incredibly proud of the Newport High School team. They garnered hands-on engineering experience and overcame countless technical challenges—just as the engineers throughout our industry do every day—on their way to the International Rocketry Challenge. Congratulations to Team Japan for their first-place finish.” said Aerospace Industries Association President and CEO Eric Fanning, which oversees the American Rocketry Challenge. “Providing students with an immersive platform to collaborate, learn, and put their engineering skills to the test is one of AIA’s most invaluable initiatives and critical to inspiring our future STEM leaders.”
As part of the International Rocketry Challenge, teams were required to launch two raw hen eggs to 835 feet and return it to earth safely within 41 to 44 seconds. In addition to the rocket launches, students are tasked with delivering a presentation about their rocket design and lessons learned to a panel of industry experts. Rocket flights are worth 60% of a team’s overall score and the presentation component accounts for 40% of the total score.
This is the 15th year that Raytheon Technologies has sponsored Team USA, enabling the teams to attend an international air show and compete in the International Rocketry Challenge.
“Congratulations to all of this year’s International Rocketry Challenge competitors, including the students of Newport High School who represented the United States,” said Greg Hayes, Chairman and CEO of Raytheon Technologies. “Solving our customers’ toughest challenges is foundational to our mission at Raytheon Technologies, and these students, with their incredible ability to collaboratively innovate, are exactly what we need in our future leaders as we look to create a safer, more connected world.”
The International Rocketry Challenge is the final competition of four distinct rocketry challenges held annually around the globe: American Rocketry Challenge sponsored by the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) and the National Association of Rocketry (NAR); the UK Youth Rocketry Challenge (UKROC) sponsored by ADS; the French Rocketry Challenge sponsored by Groupement des Industries Francaises Aeronautiques et Spatiales (GIFAS), the French aerospace industries association, and Planete Sciences; and the Japanese Rocketry Challenge, sponsored by the Society of Japanese Aerospace Companies (SJAC) and the Japan Association of Rocketry.