Hart County rocketry club blasting off to national competition
The team will travel to the Washington D.C. area to compete in the Team America Rocketry Challenge, the aerospace and defense industry's premier competition.
MUNFORDVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Miles of quiet fields stretch across rural Hart County where the only sound is pigs rooting peacefully. Except for the sound of rockets launching, which disrupts the tranquility.
"You don't see this kind of stuff much around here," said team member Jacob Choate.
The county's 4-H Rocket Club is gearing up to compete in the world's largest rocket contest. "We're actually the only team in the state that made it," said Choate.
Made up of just 12 members, they're a small team making big things happen.
"I don't want to brag, but I think we're a lot bigger than our sports teams, because we're Hart County, we don't win anything. But here we're going to D.C. and we're competing against so many teams nationally. It's something that uses your brain and not just your brawn," said Sydney Avery who is part of the team.
The team will travel to the Washington D.C. area to compete in the Team America Rocketry Challenge, the aerospace and defense industry's premier competition. Their mission is to build a rocket that meets a specific set of guidelines.
"It has to reach 800 feet and it has to get between 41 and 43 seconds, and if we can get near those guidelines then that's a good score," said Choate.
"The egg's like our astronaut. We just want to keep it safe on their journey back up and down," said club member Josh Rich.
Nearly 800 teams applied, but only 100 made it to nationals.
"If anything, it makes it more meaningful that we're going, because we've kind of had to fight for what we've got," said Avery.
This is a return trip for many of the students, but last year, for the first time in a while, the team didn't make it to nationals. Now, they've got something to prove. "They were hungry to win again. They wanted to be in the top 100 to compete," said Jennifer Sims, who coaches the team.
"I'll be happy with at least top 10, but first place would be awesome," said Jeb Anderson, a team member.
Since the summer, the team has designed and built the torpedoes. They've spent hours and hours of trial and error, preparing for the big launch. With a flip of a switch, the rocket blasts hundreds of feet into the air.
Some of these students will soon graduate, but their time on the team will launch them into careers they never dreamed of.
"Not just affecting them in a month or two, but this is affecting their life," said Amber Huffman, 4-H Youth Development Agent for Hart County. "The rocketry club has opened that door for them to have a career opportunity in this field."
The teams will compete on May 12.
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