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Published: Wednesday, 5/14/2014

Northview's rocketry team launches to third place in national competition

Northview's two rocketry teams. Seniors are in the back row, juniors in front. Northview's two rocketry teams. Seniors are in the back row, juniors in front.

Northview High School’s junior engineer students blasted their competitors in the national rocketry competition held in Washington over the weekend, landing third place for outshining others in a model rocket launch.

The junior team, comprised of seven students, left the Team America Rocketry Competition on Saturday with a $10,000 prize for engineering a model rocket that met the narrow requirements for the contest.

The event promotes aerospace design. First place was awarded to students of Creekview High School, in Canton, Ga. Rotary Youth Leadership Association of Northville, N.Y. placed second. The winning team will travel to the Farnborough International Air Show, just outside of London, in July to compete in the International Rocketry Challenge.

Northview's five-member senior team, which also was one of 100 teams selected for the national finals, placed 59th. The competition had more than 800 entries from junior and high school students nationwide. The senior team did not come home empty handed, though, winning “best dressed” for their Men in Black-type attire.

Ryan Reed, Northview’s engineering instructor, said of the junior team: “They were really really excited. I think everyone was in shock. They didn’t think they were going to place that high. At the end, they didn’t announce scores for each launch, so no one knew who was going to win until the awards ceremony.”

The junior team's time was 49.5 seconds on the first rocket launch and 50.1 seconds for the second, he said.

Junior team members are Preston Due, Chase Stammen, Yuhang Zou, Lucas Sturt, Matt Hosler, Jacob Sarmento, and Anthony McCune. Members of the senior team are Andrew Drabek, Colton Lulfs, Zach Mikolajizyk, Nick Rioux, Eben Corron, Lucas Benton, and Yaya Hu.

Hosted by the Aerospace Industries Association and the National Association of Rocketry, the contestants are judged on narrow rules for the rocket flight: The rocket has to hold two eggs and a parachute, must reach an altitude of 825 feet, and have a flight duration of between 48 and 50 seconds. There is a weight limit for the rocket of 650 grams which includes all parts.

Points are deducted by judges if any of those criteria are not met.

The prize money will be divided -- $2,000 to the school's engineering program, $1,000 will be given to the senior team members for their mentoring of the younger participants, and $7,000 will be split equally among the seven junior team members.

Contact Natalie Trusso Cafarello at: 419-206-0356, or, or on Twitter @natalietrusso.

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