Rocketry students return from nationals victorious

PRESIDIO – Two Presidio High School teams competed in nationals at the Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC) and walked away with 28th place and a cash prize for best craftsmanship. Rocketry teacher Belinda Dolino said their achievements were made possible through “hard work and teamwork.”

This year’s challenge required students to build a rocket that could carry two raw eggs to an altitude of 800 feet and return them to the ground safely within 41-43 seconds. The Olympians qualified for the final fly-off with a score of 21 – the score closest to zero wins. Their second launch was less successful due to changes in the wind but they still placed 28th out of 100 teams from all over the United States. Team Blue Comet was less fortunate during their first launch and was disqualified when their rocket didn’t deploy, crashing into the ground. However, they were rewarded with a plaque and $500 from Lockheed Martin for their design. Rockets were judged the day before the competition at a ceremony held in Washington D.C. on Capitol Hill.

Mrs. Dolino told The International she is very proud of her students because every year they do better. She recognized them for their dedication and tenacity.

“Imagine juggling rocketry with rigorous college courses, athletics, EOC’s/state exams and personal life – only determined students like them would be able to do it,” she said. “They have learned to accept failure, yet never give up.”

Presidio High School has qualified for nationals every year since the program was instituted in 2008. This year a total of 14 juniors and seniors made it to the finals. Congratulations Presidio Rocketry!