Yesterday, the country. Today the world!
Penn Manor’s illustrious rocket team headed to London last week with high hopes – that they would be able to top their amazing win in national competition with success in the international contest.
And they did it.
Against teams from England and France, Penn Manor seniors Jordan Franssen, Brendan Stoeckl, Nate Bernhardt and Tyler Funk, led by physics teacher Brian Osmolinski, flew their rockets the closest to the competition goal of flying 825 feet with a total air time of 40 to 50 seconds.
“We are so excited that we won,” said team member Brendan Stoeckl, in the online publication NewsBlaze. “We succeeded because of practice, good data analysis and teamwork.”
The competition was held in Great Britain at the Farnborough International Air Show.
The four-member team from Penn Manor High School in Millersville, PA posted the best score to win the international fly-off. Horsforth School in Leeds, England placed second. The French team was unable to launch its rocket due to technical problems.
Two months ago, Penn Manor High School’s rocketry club placed first in the national Team America Rocketry Challenge which they won by flying their rocket without breaking the raw egg inside.
The students began their rocket design early this year with a mantra of keeping it simple but making it efficient in design.
The recent graduates said they began designing the rocket in the fall and building it in January and February.
Osmolinski said Penn Manor remains one of the few area schools with a rocketry club, which includes six teams in the middle and high school and said the district has been successful because the kids figure out what decisions need to be made and work needs to be done.
The international rocketry challenge is the culmination of three separate competitions: the Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC), UKAYRoC and the French Rocketry Challenge. Each contest brings together teams of middle and high school students to design, build and launch model rockets. This year the challenge was to launch a rocket that reaches an altitude of 825 feet, stays aloft for 40-45 seconds and returns a raw egg unbroken. As part of their score, teams also had to give an eight minute presentation on their rocket design to a panel of international judges.
Sponsored by the Aerospace Industries Association and the National Association of Rocketry in the U.S.; ADS, Tri Polus Ltd, Space Connections and the Royal Aeronautical Society in the UK; and GIFAS and Planete Sciences in France, the programs are designed to encourage students to pursue careers in aerospace.
“Based on today’s competition, the future of our industry is looking pretty bright,” said Marion Blakey, president and CEO of AIA in the News Blaze. “The level of enthusiasm of the participants is phenomenal, and each team deserves congratulations for winning their home competition and inspiring other students.”
AIA created the Team America Rocketry Challenge in 2003 to celebrate the centennial of flight and to generate interest in aerospace careers among young people. The success of the program encouraged UK aerospace industry leaders to create the UKAYRoC in 2007 with similar goals in mind. Last year at the 2009 Paris Airshow, France announced they would compete as well in the international rocketry challenge.
By Penn Points staff writers