North Marion High School's Rocket Club soars to top spots in world's largest student competition

Published: May. 22, 2019 at 5:28 PM EDT
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Every Monday night students in North Marion High's Rocket Club meet to build rockets. Groups work on figuring out the structures, wing designs, paint, nose cones, and most importantly flight.

"We plug our deisgns into a computer program to see how it should fly," said student Gable Kolb. "Then we take it out and test how it actually flies, but those very rarely are the same thing."

The year's worth of work leads up to the world's largest student rocket contest: the Team America Rocketry Challenge.

Club sponsor Chris Tennant says on May 18th, two of their teams placed in the 17th and 19th spots; the best they've ever done.

"They finished in the top 25 which is the best we've ever done at North Marion," said Tennant. "I think we did have a 35th place one year and a 65th. But we've basically improved every year we're doing this."

The club has been around for eight years, using each one to work on making their rockets better. And club members are excited to see their hard work pay off.

"It was amazing," said student Kyleanna Villers. "It's my first year being in rocketry and we get 7th place at nationals! I was like, what the heck?!"

After watching his students meet the competition's requirements, work on test flights, and place in the top 25 out of 101, Tennant says he is one proud teacher.

"I couldn't be prouder. I really couldn't. They worked hard. They stuck it out every Monday night, even when they crashed in the ponds and trees. They just said 'gotta do it again, gotta build again'."

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