BELLEVUE, Wash. — The Newport High School Rocketry club has been competing in the American Rocketry Challenge since 2014. This year, the team soared to new heights and beat more than 700 teams from across America to be crowned national champions at the world’s largest student rocketry competition.
“We’re breaking Rocketry history,” said Newport Rocketry President Rose Liu. “Both of our teams are ranked one and two nationally.”
The school is celebrating an impressive showing at the American Rocketry Challenge, which featured 724 teams from 41 states competing in The Plains, Virginia.
Students said the victory is a result of several months of preparation, design, building and testing rockets in order to meet the rigorous parameters set by the contest’s sponsors - the Aerospace Industries Association and the National Association of Rocketry, along with more than 20 industry partners. The multiple wins earned the school more than $37,000 in prize money that the students said will fund future rocketry teams.
“Rocketry is a really expensive hobby, and we are a public school, so this is a big deal to us,” said Liu.
To qualify for nationals, the teams were required to build and launch a rocket that carried two raw eggs.
“We had to reach an altitude of 810 feet with a flight duration of 40 to 43 seconds,” said Liu.
The eggs need to return to earth intact, and the top 42 teams sent a second launch reaching 860 feet with a flight duration of 42-45 seconds. Newport soared and brought home a national championship in the 20th year of the American Rocketry Challenge.
Newport students are now recalculating and redesigning for a bigger stage.
Raytheon Technologies is sponsoring the team with all expenses paid as Newport will represent the United States at the International Rocketry Challenge near London in July.
The National Championship Rocketry team includes Arthur Gwozdz, Samuel Chen, Rita Liu, Rose Liu, Brandon Luo, Ethan Luo, Kavin Manivasagam, Vanu Rao, Shreyas Subramanian and Minghan Sun.