Posted On: Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Harding Rocket Team (from left): Gunnar Stockman, Nick Kantura, Henry Bish, Jenna Thomas, Rachel Daso, Sophie DeBaltzo and Maggie Hoffert.

Congratulations to the Harding Rocket Team of Gunnar Stockman, Henry Bish, Rachel Daso, Jenna Thomas, Nick Kantura, Maggie Hoffert and Sophie Debaltzo for their showing in the Team America Rocketry Challenge.  The team spent many hours designing, building, and flying a rocket for a national competition and were able to qualify for a chance at the national finals with a score of 29 points.

The team had to design, build and fly a model rocket that reaches a specific altitude and duration as determined by contest rules developed each year. This year’s requirements specified that the rocket could not exceed 650 grams (23 ounces) at liftoff, include a compartment that carried an egg that must remain intact and an altimeter to measure the maximum height reached. The goal was to reach 750 feet with a flight duration of 48-50 seconds.

Teams with the lowest score qualify for nationals, and the top 100 lowest scores compete in the finals in Washington, D.C. The cut this year for finals was 16.21. The team would like to give a special thanks to their mentor, Lakewood resident Pat Easter, who spent countless hours with the team.

"Mr. Easter was instrumental in keeping the kids focused and taught them how to design a rocket, how to order parts, and how to build the rocket," said team adviser Ann Pesta. "He also arranged for all of the launches and helped the kids on the field.  His dedication to the team has been amazing," she said.

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