Rocketry team begins build season

By Gisselle Washington | Staff Writer |

Originally published in the Dec. 19 print edition of The Big Stick. 

It’s simple. Learn about rockets. Build rockets. Simulate rockets. But the ETA Rocketry Club is also combining math and science with engineering concepts to create well-developed rockets for the annual Team America Rocketry Challenge.

Meeting every Thursday in sponsor Dr. Albert Chang’s room, the Rocketry Club has been active for more than five years.

“I just hope they get a love for how science can be applied to technological systems to do something like launch a rocket,” Dr. Chang said.

The club will be participating in one of the largest student rocketry contests in the nation, with more than 5,000 competitors every year.

Senior Tehya York and freshman Omar Garcia take measurements for their rocket build. Rocketry Club began preliminary building on Dec. 13. Photo by Angelina McMinn

   Since it’s the 50th anniversary of the Apollo landing, there is a special challenge this year to design a rocket with the ability to carry three raw eggs in a capsule to a height of 856 feet and return it to the ground in 43-46 seconds while the eggs remain undamaged.

   “Competitions are highly informal in the sense that we schedule a launch time, we launch our own rockets then we report the results to the central body,” Chang said. “We just got our parts in, so we’re going to start building soon.”

   Rocketry club combines a design component along with a lot of preparation. Currently they are in the planning and testing phase with some very preliminary building at their Dec. 13 meeting.

 “It’s great project management and a huge team effort between our designers and our engineers, and for a lot of our officers who take care of ordering parts and those who go to managing meetings,” treasurer Nathan Nunnelly said.

This semester in addition to completing their main build, they also will have to fill out a great amount of paperwork.

“It’s a lot of work but honestly after you finish everything it’s pretty worth it,” president Madeleine Hickman said.

About the Author

Gisselle Washington
Hello! I am currently a senior at TR. I enjoy writing and communications. After high school I would like to pursue a career in journalism.