One of Westridge School’s rocketry teams, Apollo 1913, qualified for the 2015 Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC) National Finals. TARC is the largest rocketry competition in the world, and the team ranked in the top 100 out of 789 teams from all 50 states to qualify for the finals. Six of the team’s eight members and two faculty advisors traveled to the east coast for a long weekend of events, including a reception on Capitol Hill and the final fly-off held in the Plains, VA, outside of Washington, D.C. This is only the third year Westridge has competed in TARC.
Team members were: Johanna B. ’17, Laurence D. ’17 (captain), Ashley F. ’17, Hannah K. ’17, Ariel L., Jane L. W. ’17 (captain), Tess S. ’17 (captain), Ella W. ’18. Team faculty advisors are Edye Udell PhD. and David Prince.
TARC is an aerospace and defense industry program designed to encourage students to pursue study and careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The competition challenges middle and high school students to design, build, and fly a rocket that meets specific altitude and flight duration parameters. This 2015 rules required a rocket carrying two raw eggs to reach 850 feet before returning the eggs to Earth, uncracked, all within 44 to 46 seconds. Finalists competed for more than $100,000 in prizes and scholarships, and a chance to represent the United States at the International Rocketry in July. While there, Team Apollo 1913 placed 31st out of the 100 teams and had a “blast” traveling together and meeting students from other schools all passionate about the same things.
Rocketry blasted onto our campus due to the interest of Madeline E. ’16, who was originally involved through her Girl Scout troop. She has been integral in organizing the school’s entry into TARC, and for training and educating the teams. Although the Westridge team she captained this year did not qualify for finals, she was instrumental in training the captains of the team that did qualify.