AAPT.org - American Association of Physics Teachers

AAPT Supports Team America Rocketry Challenge

College Park, MD, April 14, 2014—AAPT is proud to be an Educational Partner for the 2014 Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC). Now in its 12th year, TARC attracts the next generation of engineers and technicians to join the aerospace industry. This contest, the Aerospace Industries Association’s signature program, is held in partnership with the National Association of Rocketry, AAPT, DoD, NASA, and AIA member companies. and the only aerospace-specific national STEM competition.   TARC has reached over 55,000 students in the past decade and involved over 3,000 students in 48 states. The 2014 Finals are Saturday, May 10 at Great Meadow in The Plains, VA

An extra-curricular hands-on project-based learning program, the TARC competition is modeled around the aerospace industry’s design, fabrication and testing processes.  All students participate in a team of 3-10 students to design, build, and fly a rocket. Like aerospace companies work within specific design parameters, every year the challenge requires teams to achieve the same basic mission-oriented goals of hitting a precise altitude, landing within a specific flight time window, and returning a raw egg (”the astronaut”) without cracking. Each year a unique task is also included; this year we are challenging students to fly two eggs and to use two parachutes to recover the rocket and eggs.

TARC gives students opportunities to apply their math and science skills to a real world project outside of the classroom. For many students, this experience yields their first significant personal realization of how what they are learning in school is relevant to endeavors that are fun, challenging, and represent potential future career pathways. Through TARC, students have discovered that they enjoy solving math and science problems in the context of resolving difficult and complex design issues. Often TARC is also their first exposure to the aerospace industry. They learn what aerospace engineers and skilled technical workers do and what it takes to become one of those professionals.

About AAPT

AAPT is an international organization for physics educators, physicists, and industrial scientists—with members worldwide. Dedicated to enhancing the understanding and appreciation of physics through teaching, AAPT provides awards, publications, and programs that encourage teaching practical application of physics principles, support continuing professional development, and reward excellence in physics education. AAPT was founded in 1930 and is headquartered in the American Center for Physics in College Park, Maryland.  

For more information: Contact Marilyn Gardner, Director of Communications, mgardner@aapt.org, (301)209-3306, (301)209-0845 (Fax)