Rocketry team 13th in nationals

The rocketry team placed 13th last weekend at the national finals of the Team America Rocketry Challenge in The Plains, Va. Harvard-Westlake was one of 100 teams from across the country to compete. 

The competition was sponsored by the Department of Defense, NASA and 37 other aerospace and educational organizations. Accompanied by their coach, math teacher Jacob Hazard, nine members of the team flew to Washington D.C. May 15 for the competition  on May 17. 

The goal of the competition was to launch a rocket 750 feet into the air. 

At some point, the rocket had to eject two eggs in parachutes, which had to stay in the air for exactly 45 seconds and reach the ground unbroken.

A team’s score was calculated as the absolute value of the difference between the actual launch height and 750 feet, added to two times the absolute value of the difference between the time the eggs stayed in the air and 45 seconds.  The objective was to receive the lowest possible score. 

The rocketry team scored a 15 on their first launch, with the rocket reaching 742 feet and the eggs staying airborne for 41.5 seconds.  As one of the 18 lowest scores, this warranted a second launch, which would be averaged with the first for an overall score. 

The team prepared for the second rocket launch in a 10-15 mile per hour wind, which dropped to four miles per hour during the actual launch,  Ian Cinnamon ’10, who was primarily responsible for designing the rocket, said.

As a result, the rocket skyrocketed to 783 feet, which along with a time of exactly 45 seconds received a score of approximately 35.  Harvard-Westlake’s overall score was 25.  The winning team, from Enloe High School in North Carolina, received a score of 12.