Wichita eighth-graders to compete in national rocketry competition

WICHITA, Kan. A group of eighth-grade students at Wichita's Truesdell Middle School is preparing for liftoff on the national stage.

The rocketry team of Truesdell eighth-graders is among the top 100 teams nationwide invited to compete in the Team America Rocketry National Finals. The students will take part in the national competition May 13 outside Washington, D.C., following a May 12 reception in the nation's capital. The students leave for D.C. on May 10.

To make the cut, rocketry teams at the middle and high school levels have objectives to meet concerning their rockets' altitude and flight duration.

At the national competition, the goal is to launch a model rocket carrying a hen's egg as close as possible to 775 feet with a flight duration of 41 to 43 seconds. The closer that rocket gets to meeting the goal, the lower the overall score.

Like in golf, the lowest score wins. But in addition to teams trying to get their rockets to reach the desired altitude and flight duration, the hen's egg has to return to earth without any cracks or external damage.

The group of Truesdell eighth-graders is the only team that will be representing south central Kansas in the nation's capital.

"I think it's an honor to be on a team like this and to represent Wichita and Kansas," Truesdell rocketry team member Jesus Trevizo says.

Top-placing teams in the Team America Rocketry National Finals split more than $100,000 in cash and scholarships. The overall winner competes in the International Rocketry Challenge in June at the Paris Air Show in Paris, France.