Georgia Students Crowned America's Top Teen Rocket Scientists
The Plains, Va. – Creekview High School of Canton, Ga. today took home the top prize at the world’s largest and most competitive student rocketry contest – The Team America Rocketry Challenge.
The students from Creekview will now represent the United States at the International Rocketry Challenge at the Farnborough Air Show outside of London in July, facing off against teams from the UK, France and Japan.
The team’s victory follows months of preparation designing, building, and testing a rocket capable of meeting rigorous mission parameters set by the contest’s sponsors – the Aerospace Industries Association
(AIA) and National Association of Rocketry
. Today’s Final Fly-off was an all-day event held at Great Meadow in The Plains, Va., outside of Washington, D.C. A team from Creekview also took home the top prize at the 2014 edition of the Rocketry Challenge. One member of the 2014 championship team returned to coach this year’s team from Creekview.
Brayden Dodge, 18, led the Creekview team. “I want to thank God for allowing us to get this victory and giving us the perfect conditions for both of our launches so we can be put in this position to represent the U.S.,” Dodge said of the victory. “The Team America Rocketry Challenge inspires thousands of kids across the nation to get into STEM and it’s really an amazing experience to come out here and see what teams can do.”
For his senior project, Dodge decided to mentor aspiring rocketeers at the middle school across the street, Creekland Middle School, helping to create a talent pipeline that will keep his school in the contest for years to come. This year, Creekland Middle School was a Top 100 finalist and competed in the finals at Great Meadow.
The Top 100 teams, hailing from 28 states and the District of Columbia, competed for a total of $100,000 in prize money and scholarships at the national finals. The $100,000 prize pool will be split among the Top 10 teams. The U.S. champions from Creekview will take home the top prize of $20,000.
FAST FACTS ON THE ROCKETRY CHALLENGE:
- 800 teams from 46 states and the District of Columbia competed in the 2018 edition of the contest
- 12 all-girl teams (5,000 girls have competed in the Rocketry Challenge since 2015)
- Since its inception in 2003, the contest has inspired 70,000 middle and high school students to explore education and careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields
- 328 eggs launched approximately 800 feet into the skies above Virginia on May 12
“This competition demonstrates to high school students across the country how they can solve difficult challenges by working together as a team and using their knowledge of science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” said AIA Chairman and Raytheon Chairman and CEO Tom Kennedy. “I am hopeful they will take these lessons with them as they become our next generation of engineers, scientists, technologists and mathematicians who will unlock incredible innovations to make the world a better place.”