CMCA/Vanguard Students Head to National Rocket Competition

Months of high-anxiety science, math, engineering, and testing have paid off for 100 teams vying for the 9th annual Team American Rocketry Challenge (TARC) national title next month. The Vanguard School/Cheyenne Mountain Charter Academy and the TARC team from El Paso County 4-H made the cut.

The Vanguard/CMCA team has a page with complete photos and videos of the qualification
season. Our team this year is comprised of two 7th graders and two 9th graders.

The Aerospace Industries Association announced the finalists for the World's Largest Rocket Contest Friday. The teams will meet in Virginia on May 14 for a final fly-off and a chance to win more than $60,000 in cash and other prizes, including an all-expenses paid trip to the Paris Air Show for the first place finishers. Last year's winners also got to meet and speak with president Obama at the White House science fair. About 7,000 students on 619 teams from the U.S. took part in the qualifying rounds of competition.

Most of the students are in high school, but Evan Torres, one of the middle school students from Cheyenne Mountain Charter Academy said, "Our teams have gone to finals for 4 of the past 6 years, and have finished as high as 5th. This year we hope to do very well at finals."

CMCA student Matt Force said, "I was intrigued by the software (Rocksim) we used to simulate our design before we built and flew it. It eliminates a lot of the trial and error, and it's really cool."

The teams design, build and launch model rockets with a raw-egg payload that must return unbroken. This year's contest goals are an altitude of 750 feet and a flight time of 40-45 seconds, and the egg bay must come down on a relatively small 16 inch parachute. It's not a no-holds-barred contest to see who has the most power, but rather is an attempt to get teams to think first and foremost about efficiency and precision. The Colorado teams are at a tremendous disadvantage compared with lowlands teams, because now they have to design and build a new rocket to fly to a different altitude in Virginia at finals because of the air density and humidity differences.

The Colorado Springs TARC teams will launch every week until they leave for finals. Launches will be held at Fox Meadow middle school, Challenger Middle School, a site near Fountain, and the mid-power COSROCS site in Peyton.

The teams need additional financial support for testing and travel expenses. Donations are 501(c)3 deductible for the CMCA and 4-H teams. Please call CMCA at 471-1999 or use the contact information on the team's web page.

We would like to give special thanks to our current supporters: Kash's Gems, Thad Zylka, Steve Madere, United Launch Alliance, Cheyenne Mountain Charter Adademy/PTO, Shockwave Rocketry, and Colorado
Aerospace Education Foundation
. Thanks to COSROCS for going well beyond normal mentoring and support. And thank you New Generation Homes for providing a tremendous launch area for testing and qualification flights.



Click on the flight photo to view one of our test flights.

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Tags: Academy, America, Challenge, Charter, Cheyenne, Mountain, Rocketry, Rockets, School, TARC, More…Team, The, Vanguard, science


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Comment by Katy Booth on April 8, 2011 at 3:47pm
Congrats to the Vanguard/CMCA team and thanks for posting, Jeff!


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