Washington State Students Crowned National Champions of World’s Largest Rocket Competition

Washington State Students Crowned National Champions of World’s Largest Rocket Competition

Press release from: Aerospace Industries Association
Posted: Saturday May 14th 2022

The Plains, Va. – Team 2 from Newport High School in Bellevue, WA, were crowned national champions today at the world’s largest student rocketry competition – the American Rocket Challenge. Newport High School had the highest score of 99 teams competing in the National Finals, which took place at Great Meadow in The Plains, VA. A total of 724 teams from 41 states competed in the 2022 American Rocketry Challenge. The students will now represent the United States at the International Rocketry Challenge taking place at the Farnborough Airshow outside London in July.

“We had our fair share of challenges, but we were determined to overcome them, and that’s what made the difference for us in this competition,” said team captain Arthur Gwozdz, 17. “Our advisors and mentors have supported us every step of the way. I’m so proud of the team and what we’ve been able to accomplish.

Newport High School has been participating in the American Rocketry Challenge since 2014. In addition to Gwozdz, winning team members include Samuel Chen, Rita Liu, Rose Liu, Brandon Luo, Ethan Luo, Kavin Manivasagam, Vanu Rao, Shreyas Subramanian, and Minghan Sun. The first runner-up in the National Finals competition was also a team from Newport High School.

“Congratulations to the competitors and winners of this year’s American Rocketry Challenge,” said Greg Hayes, president and CEO of Raytheon Technologies. “It is remarkable to watch these high school students strategize, plan, build and adapt to uncontrollable variables to solve a complex challenge. We hope this experience inspires them to advance their learning and choose a career focused on solving the world’s most complex challenges.

The team’s victory follows months of preparation to design, build and test a rocket capable of meeting rigorous mission parameters set by the competition’s sponsors – the Aerospace Industries Association(AIA), National Rocket Association, and more than 20 industrial partners. To qualify for the National Finals, teams had to build and launch a rocket that safely carries a payload of two raw eggs with a target flight time of 41 to 44 seconds and an altitude of 835 feet. In the National Finals, competing teams had to launch the rockets 810 feet with a flight time of 40 to 43 seconds in the first round of competition. The top 42 teams completed a second launch which was expected to reach 860 feet with a flight time of 42 to 45 seconds.

“The aerospace and defense industry helps define our future, and the opportunities for these students and others in our sector are limitless,” said Eric Fanning, President and CEO of AIA. “It’s amazing to share the enthusiasm that characterizes A&D with these students and to see them bring the same kind of enthusiasm to their work in this competition. It’s hands-on engineering that’s really rocket science,” he continued. “Competitors in the 2022 American Rocketry Challenge will be leaders in the industries that define our future, whether it’s building the rockets that will take humans to Mars, designing for a more sustainable world, or innovating beyond beyond our current imagination. We can’t wait to see where they go and we look forward to supporting Newport High School when they represent the United States at the International Finals in July.

National Finals teams represented 27 states from Hawaii to Connecticut and competed for a total of $100,000 in prizes and scholarships. The prize pool will be split among the top 10 teams, with Newport High School winning the top prize of $20,000 as American Champions. Additionally, the top 25 finalists receive an invitation to participate in NASA Student Launch initiative to continue their rocket exploration with high-powered rockets and challenging mission settings. Additionally, the winners of the Marketing Contest, Pitch Contest, and Best First-Time Runner-Up were honored at the National Finals.

2022 marks the 20th year of the American Rocketry Challenge, and the first time since 2019, the top teams competed in a National Finals kickoff. National Finals were canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19, and in 2021 teams competed in 10 Regional Finals located at venues across the country – also a precaution implemented in the wake of the pandemic. To date, the American Rocketry Challenge has inspired more than 85,000 middle and high school students to explore STEM education and careers.

For more information and content, check out the official website #RocketContest22 the Web, Facebook, Twitterand instagram pages. You can also read more about many national finalists in the “In the newssection of the American Rocketry Challenge website.

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