Lake County Team Gain Entry into Largest Pupil Rocket Contest

Redhawk Rocketeers members have reached new heights, much like the rocket they launched.

As a part of The American Rocketry Problem, the crew – which is composed of students from Prince of Peace Catholic Faculty in Lake Villa and Carmel Catholic Excessive Faculty in Mundelein – has again earned a spot amongst the best young rocket launchers within the nation.

Over 4,000 students from 41 states, representing more than 720 teams of three to ten students, competed in the competition. The guidelines for this year’s contest required teams to build, construct, and launch a model rocket that was capable of safely launching two uncooked eggs to an altitude of 835 feet, with a flight duration of 41 to 44 seconds.

In the finals, the problem is modified to 2 flights: one has as its goal an altitude of 810 feet with a duration of 40 to 43 seconds, while the opposite has a goal of 860 feet with a duration of 42 to 45 seconds.

Students in middle and high school can participate in the competition by designing, building, and launching model rockets, gaining hands-on expertise and solving engineering issues.

The Redhawk Rocketeers qualified for the 2021 national finals, however, after battling the weather and COVID-19-related challenges this year, they weren’t anticipating qualifying again this year.

“We had slim hope, however, we did it,” 14-year-old Brandon Czapla, a crew member, said. “I’m excited to be touring to Washington and seeing what different groups have constructed there and the way effectively we’ll do in opposition to them.”

During their preparations to check to launch their rocket for competing in the upcoming American Rocketry Problem on the Tim Osmond Sports activities Advanced in Antioch, Lilly Abney, of Spherical Lake Seaside, and Luka Weideman, of Lindenhurst, both 14, examine a wind anemometer as they prepare to attempt their rocket.

College students may have the opportunity to join the Redhawk Rocketeers crew of TARC. As of this year, the crew consisted of just three members, recommended by Bob Zurek of Antioch.

The crew was co-captained by a Prince of Peace graduate and ninth-grader at Carmel Catholic Exceptional Faculty, Luka Weideman, as well as Prince of Peace eighth-grader Lilly Abney.

“We’re simply so pleased with all of the work they’ve executed that they get to be on the nationals,” stated Annmarie Czapla, Brandon’s mom. “They’ve labored actually exhausting, months and months of designing the rocket. Their mentor, Bob, is fabulous. He’s so affected person and a fantastic sounding board for them.

“The youngsters are actually those doing the work. They’re driving the whole lot.”

There are 101 groups heading to the national finals, and the three-member crew will compete on May 14 in The Plains, Virginia, not far from Washington, D.C.

In addition to $100,000 in prizes, the nationwide champion is entitled to travel to London for the international finals at all costs. NASA’s upcoming launch of the Artemis I mission in June, the first step to returning Individuals to the moon, coincides with a resurgence in nationwide curiosity in space flight this year.

NASA will invite 25 of the top robotically performing groups to the Pupil Launch workshop.

The Redhawk Rocketeers compete this year without the crew’s founder and former captain, Rebecca Zurek. Zurek graduated from Carmel Catholic Excessive Faculty and is currently studying aerospace engineering at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Seaside, Florida.

“The primary year we had a very expert rocketeer, Becky. She was our primary information,” Abney stated. “We knew all the abilities she taught us so I used to be assured we might get good scores, however, I wasn’t one hundred pc we might get to nationals. However, right here we’re.”

The team will travel to the national finals. As part of an internship, Rebecca can be on the finals, he explained.

According to him, the Redhawk Rocketeers overcame many challenges to reach the national finals. They weren’t in a position to meet throughout a two-month time interval due to COVID-19 throughout the households. One rocket had to be rebuilt recently after a wind shift caused it to land in a swamp during an application run.

“Simply to see the expansion between final yr and this yr has been large,” Bob Zurek stated. “They did a fantastic job. They went on the market and tailored issues not essentially going their method and got here out with good flights. … They’re meshing tighter as a crew once more this yr.”

In the final year, the Redhawk Rocketeers finished in the top half of groups at the nationwide finals but failed to advance. The team hopes to improve on their performance this year.

“Though we’re a very small crew, we separate work based mostly on all of our completely different strengths and give attention to how can we transfer from the place we’re and construct from what now we have,” Abney stated.


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