World's Largest Student Rocket Contest Shows Momentum in Growing Strong
Aerospace & Defense Workforce Pipeline
ARLINGTON, Va., April 2, 2013
AIA's Team America Rocketry Challenge announces its top 100 teams for national
fly-off in May
ARLINGTON, Va., April 2, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --Hundreds of students
from across the country will meet May 11 at Great Meadow in The Plains, VA to
decide the winner of the world's largest student rocket contest. The Team
America Rocketry Challenge (TARC) has been captivating students nationwide for
the past decade, encouraging them to advance their education and pursue
careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
In a year of record turnout, attracting 725 teams, only the top 100 will
proceed to compete in TARC's final fly-off. The top 100 teams represent 29
states, the U.S. Virgin Islands and a diverse cross-section of American youth.
Teams include students from urban and rural America, all-girls teams, a record
number of 4-H teams and a team comprised entirely of Civil Air Patrol
Over the next month, these students will be working tirelessly to perfect
their rockets as they set out to compete for the national title, more than
$60,000 in scholarships and a chance to participate in NASA's prestigious
Student Launch Initiative. Also, amid education budget cuts, a number of teams
advancing to finals will have to take on the challenge of funding their trips
to the national fly-offs.
"Qualifying within the top 100 is an incredibly challenging and exciting
achievement," said AIA President and CEO Marion C. Blakey. "But equally
impressive are the nearly 5,000 students who were inspired to explore science,
engineering and technology through their participation in this year's
While demand for STEM-skilled workers continues to grow, the United States
consistently falls short in international comparisons of STEM education.
Reports show that America ranks behind other countries in preparedness for
careers in STEM, with U.S high school students placing 17th in science and
25th in math out of 35 countries according to the Organisation for Economic
Co-operation and Development.
Now in its 11^th year, TARC has motivated more than 55,000 students to pursue
STEM courses and careers – often bridging economic, linguistic and cultural
barriers to enter the nation's most coveted and lucrative occupations.
"Now more than ever, we see how essential programs like the TARC are for
inspiring a new generation toward rewarding STEM careers," said Raytheon
Chairman and CEO William H. Swanson. "Raytheon is proud to support this
exciting competition which provides students a unique opportunity to
personally design, build and launch their own rockets. We believe these 'learn
by doing' experiences foster the development of skills and enthusiasm that
will help ultimately strengthen our communities, bolster American innovation
and improve our role in the global marketplace."
Industry partners such as Raytheon Company and Lockheed Martin work
hand-in-hand with the Aerospace Industries Association and the National
Association of Rocketry to sponsor TARC. Raytheon Company provides critical
funding for the winning team to compete in an international fly-off held at
the Paris Air Show in June against teams from the UK and France.
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SOURCE Aerospace Industries Association
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