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Published: Wednesday, 5/21/2014 - Updated: 2 years ago

Northview rocketry students show off skills at Timberstone

Northview's junior team launches its rocket in in a contest with a senior team. Northview's junior team launches its rocket in in a contest with a senior team.
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Rockets touched sky as the Northview High School senior and junior rocketry teams showed off their sophisticated rocket models on a sunny Tuesday afternoon.

In an open area behind Timberstone Junior High School, the two teams blasted off their model rockets one last time, facing off in a mini-match.

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The junior team brought the green and white striped rocket that won them third place and $10,000 in the Team America Rocketry Competition held over Mother’s Day weekend in Washington. The competition had more than 800 entries from schools nationwide. The prize-winning model wasn‘t used on Tuesday.

“We can’t launch it today, because the whole team cannot be here, plus we don’t know how long it will last. It’s been through a lot,” said junior Jake Sarmento, 17.

He said the seven-member team collaborated on rocket design. Ultimately, quick thinking is what placed the team in the winner’s circle.

“When it‘s windy, we have parachutes, so it will stay up longer. We cut holes in our parachutes, because it was really windy match day,” said junior Lucas Sturt, 17.

That last minute sacrifice shaved seconds off their final time, the juniors said.

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. The junior and senior class take part in the competition annually as part of the engineering class.

The same rules applied to Tuesday’s mini-match, which gave the seniors, whose five-student team placed 59th nationally, a chance to prove their rocket skill might.

Attended by more than 25 students and parents, spectators tipped their heads way back to get a glimpse of the super fast rockets reaching straight up to the clouds, and slowly parachuting down back to earth.

The juniors ran into some bad luck, with their second rocket landing in water. The seniors were deemed winners, with a time of 53.5 seconds with the rocket reaching an altitude of 829 feet.

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

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