The weight is on the shoulders of Penn Manor’s new incoming rocket team after last year’s team ended up winning the Third Annual Transatlantic Rocketry Challenge during the summer.
Penn Manor science teacher Brian Osmolinski, rocket club adviser, has a rebuilding year for 2010-11 after five seniors graduated.
Last year’s performance went further than any team from Penn Manor had gone before, a lot further. They were number one in the world, in fact.
Before they could conquer the world, the Penn Manor rocket team went up against 700 teams across the country at nationals. And they won.
Finishing with an average score of 26.32, sealed the deal for the win. The score was accumulated over two flights. The first flight was an outstanding score of thirty, followed by a score of 23.32 on the second flight. The challenge was to fly a rocket 825 feet staying airborne for 40 to 45 seconds, and return with a raw egg unbroken. Each team also has to present their rocket to the judges which could add to their final score.
From Nationals, the first place team had an opportunity to go across the seas to Farnsborough Air Show in England. The best teams from France and the U.K competed with Penn Manor’s rocket club. Penn Manor captured the win and the satisfaction of being international winners.
But it was not all fun and games.
Last year’s team put in hours and hours of preparation, flying rockets after rockets to beat the best, and to make a name for themselves. Osmolinski said.
“We lost half of our team members last year and must rely on the kids with some experience to teach kids that have no experience but want to be a part of the team,” Osmolinski said.
Rebuilding the team for Penn Manor will be a hardship, but past Marticville Middle School students Wyatt Shiffler, Tom Sowers and Jessee Stoner already placed in nationals right behind the high school team.
Repeating as international winners might seem like an impossible task for a rebuilding team, but Osmolinski is not counting it out.
“To maintain our title we will stick with the same game plan, which is heavy rockets, big motors, and more team work said Osmolinkski.
To maintain their budget, the rocket club will be selling food at the school from the snack cart, sell tickets for a raffle produced by Osmolinski and other fundraisers.
The rocket club is meeting on Saturdays to fly their rockets, be the best and defend their international title.
By Ryan Mays