May 24, 2023 759 PM
PRESIDIO — On Monday, Presidio High School’s rocketry students were welcomed back into town with a parade escort when they returned from a strong showing at the nation-wide American Rocketry Challenge (TARC), where they competed against 100 other teams for a part of $100,000 in prize money and a chance to advance to the international competition.
Students who compete in TARC create small-scale rockets with eggs for passengers — if the team can launch the rocket 835 feet in 41 to 44 seconds and return the rocket to the ground without breaking the eggs, they advance. The program teaches students key engineering and physics skills while also bringing students together for a fun and fast-paced competition.
This year, four rocketry teams made the cut to go to the national competition — but TARC rules stipulate that only two teams from each school can attend.
Team Sozin’s Comet, led by junior Herman Reyes, competed at nationals alongside senior Ramon Rodriguez, freshman Miara Luz Santo Domingo and fellow juniors Axel Montoya, Samantha Perez and Mayte Flotte.
Team Atlas, led by senior Maria Lujan, competed alongside fellow senior Daisy Flores, juniors Valerie Armendariz and Dafne Ortiz, and sophomores Karla Valdivia and Abdiel Bustamante.
Presidio ultimately placed 25th out of 100 qualifying teams — out of a total 798 teams that take part in the competition on a local level every year.
The rocketry students were also honored at Tuesday night’s Academic Recognition Ceremony with special blue medals to honor their achievements.