On May 14, Newport High School’s Team 2 were crowned National Champions of the world’s largest student rocketry competition, the American Rocketry Challenge, during its 20th anniversary.
This year is the first time since 2019 where top teams have competed in the National Finals launch, which were cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Out of the 99 competing teams at the event, which took place at Great Meadows in The Plains, VA, Newport High School received the best score.
“We had our fair share of challenges, but we were determined to work through them, and that’s what made the difference for us in this competition,” said Arthur Gwozdz, team captain. “Our advisors and mentors have supported us every step of the way. I am so proud of the team and what we have been able to accomplish.”
Members of the Newport High School team include Samuel Chen; Rita Liu; Rose Liu; Brandon Luo; Ethan Luo; Kavin Manivasagam; Vanu Rao; Shreyas Subramanian; and Minghan Sun.
The team spent months of preparation designing, building, and testing a rocket capable of meeting mission parameters set by contest sponsors to include the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA), and the National Association of Rocketry.
To qualify for National Finals, teams were required to build and launch a rocket that safely carried two raw eggs, with a target flight duration of 41 to 44 seconds, and an altitude of 835 feet. During National Finals, competing teams were required to launch the rockets 810 feet in the air for a duration of 40 to 43 seconds in the first round.
For the second round, the top 42 teams conducted a launch that was required to reach 860 feet with a flight duration of 42 to 45 seconds.
“Competitors in the 2022 American Rocketry Challenge will be the leaders in the industries defining our future—whether building the rockets that will take humans to Mars, designing for a more sustainable world, or innovations beyond our current imagination,” said Eric Fanning, President and CEO of AIA. “We can’t wait to see the places they’ll go and look forward to rooting for Newport High School when they represent the United States in the International Finals in July.”
In July, the Newport High School team will represent the United States at the International Rocketry Challenge, which will take place at the Farnborough Airshow outside of London.
Newport High School has also been awarded a prize of $20,000 from the National Finals, and the top 25 teams received invitations to participate in NASA’s Student Launch initiative to continue their exploration of rocketry with high powered rockets and challenging mission parameters.