Do you think that you could build a rocket? Most people reading this probably aren’t NASA engineers. However, maybe some of you aspire to be one someday. It’s a worthy goal, and there’s a lot of programs out there that can help you achieve your goal of inspiring and creating ways for space travel.
A little while ago, the TARC reached out to me. Specifically, Lawerence Mason III, the Communications Lead. He told me all about the Team America Rocketry Challenge (which is the biggest rocket challenge in the world), and I was so enthralled that I sent them some questions to ask their teams.
TARC was founded back in 2002, and ever since has encouraged STEM in a grand way. This was their 15th anniversary.
Their challenge every year consists of the goal to construct a rocket that can safely launch an egg, and bring it back down without harming it in the least. (If you watched the Mars Generation film, those kids did a very similar challenge.)
This year, team captain Briana Sparacino spoke to us. She gave her all-girl’s team our questions about the challenge, and what they learned from it. Their inspirational answers are down below.
- Q1: What inspired you to get into engineering and build rockets?
Our science teacher’s passion for rocketry inspired our interest in joining the rocket club. Last year, we had no experience, but learned as we went through the year and ended up making the TARC finals last year as well as this year! This year, we have one new member on our team. She was inspired by our science teacher as well. Because of our teacher, we all share a love of engineering and building rockets.
- Q2: What have you learned about engineering and even yourself during the duration of this competition?
We learned not only how to build a rocket from scratch, but also the importance and relevance of teamwork. We also learned how to work through setbacks such as accommodating weather conditions between and during the duration of the competition.
- Q3: What is your main goal in participating in this year’s Team America Rocketry Challenge?
Our main goal in participating in this years Team America Rocketry Challenge is that we want to do the best we can. We’ve worked so hard over the course of the year and the fact that we made it to the finals is already unbelievable. That’s already an achievement in itself. Our goal is to continue to try our best to win the competition.
- Q4: What is your team’s most memorable moment while competing in TARC?
Our most memorable moment in TARC is definitely the day we qualified. It was terrible weather and freezing but we were still determined to continue on and attempt to get a great score. We could have given up and gone home and not qualify, but we didn’t. We did one last flight for that day. We flew our rocket and ended up getting a score of 1.6! This was a dream come true for our team. It was the moment when we got the feeling of faith and that our hard work had ended up paying off in the end. It was a feeling of sheer joy.
- Q5: How do you think is the best way to keep getting more young women like you to get involved in STEM?
We think that many young women feel that STEM related projects are for men only because they believe that most people who work in this industry are men. We think that if more young women take a stand and get involved in STEM related projects, they will inspire other women to get involved as well.