Two VCCS Rocket Teams to Compete in Nationals

For the sixth straight year, Victory Christian Center School has qualified to represent the Charlotte region in the aerospace and defense industry’s premier STEM competition for student rocketry.

Last week, both of our rocket teams won slots to compete in the Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC), the world’s largest student rocket contest next month near Washington, D.C. They competed against 810 teams (over 5,000 students) from around the U.S. to win two of the 100 slots. Our students scored in the top 10 percent, which earned them invitations to the Rockets on Capitol Hill Reception where they’ll rub elbows with Congressional leaders and aerospace officials.

Sponsored by the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) and the National Association of Rocketry (NAR), TARC is a key component of the aerospace and defense industry’s strategy to build a stronger U.S. workforce in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Only the lowest 100 scores qualified. The rockets had to soar to an altitude of 775 feet with a flight duration

L-R (Front): Aiyanna Rogers_ Miciah Barnes_ Makarii Randolph_ Jabari Rucker
(Middle): Greg Smith_ (Back): Tim Baten_John Pratt, III_ Preston Gaines _ Clarence Washington, Jr.   

of 41 to 43 seconds and return without breaking a raw egg (the payload).

Miss Kimberly Williams, VCCS Science Chair and Rocketry Advisor, was quite pleased by her teams’ scores and the way they designed their rockets. The students named our rockets The Pratt XXVII after our founding Principal Michael Pratt, and The Trump, after President Donald Trump. It was the first time students had assigned names to rockets since their first year of competition.  That year, their rocket named The McCullough II, placed in the top 20.

“The design this year is really complicated,” said Williams, who is also one of the region’s few Level 2 National Association of Rocketry (NAR)-certified instructors. Because requirements were much more complex than previous years, she added, “We completed it with a lot of prayer.  Requirements this year were more difficult.” Also, she said for the first time, “Students were required to construct two different body tubings for the rockets, and the bottom had to be smaller than the top. The children had to build transitions to connect the top to the bottom, which they designed themselves.

“That was probably the most exciting part for the children,” Williams explained. But whenever students failed to cut the model precisely, they had to scrap it and start over.  Our student rocketeers have been trained to execute without adult supervision since all communication between instructors and students is prohibited at the competition. As students prepare to launch from the field at TARC, Miss Williams and her faculty assistants will only be permitted to cheer at a distance from the stands.

The top placing teams at TARC will split more than $100,000 in cash and scholarships, and the overall winning team will travel to Europe to compete in the International Rocketry Challenge in Paris.

Team II’s Motto: “We make rocketry great!”
Front Page L-R (Front): Olivia Edmonds_ Loi Pham,_Ra’Aija Davis_Te’la Faulkner
(Back): Kory Oliver_DeAsja Ingram_Francis Colbert_Jordan Spencer

Congratulations to Miss Williams & both of our Rocket Teams!

May the Lord continue to order your steps!