Congratulations to Odle’s Space Cucumbers and Newport’s Bemis X and Flight Squad rocketry teams who are advancing to the Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC) National Finals Fly-Off on May 12 in Virginia.  They are among 100 finalists out of 800 teams representing 46 states and the District of Columbia.

Students were challenged with designing, building, and flying a rocket that meets rigorous altitude and flight duration parameters through a series of certified, qualifying launches. This year’s rules required a rocket carrying two raw eggs to reach 800 feet before returning the eggs to Earth uncracked within a window of 41 to 43 seconds.

“In rocketry, students apply their academic, technical, and soft skills such as collaboration over an extended period of time on a task that is conceptually simple, but difficult to achieve in the real world,” said Odle Rocketry Advisor, Brendan Williams. “There is no single algorithm for success and teams encounter many setbacks and challenges. Teams drive the direction of their learning depending upon their needs. Every launch is accompanied by excited whoops, squeaks, shouts, and exclamations by the students and adults!”

Newport Rocketry Advisor Jeremy Brown echoed similar thoughts and said, “We had our fair share of challenges, such as incomplete parachute deployment, nose cone detachment, and motor failures.  Whenever we encountered a problem, we analyzed what exactly caused the issue, took steps to mitigate it, and kept going. I am consistently amazed and inspired by the drive, work ethic, ingenuity, and most of all the humility these students bring to the table. These kids are true champions and I am honored to have been given a chance to be part of their accomplishments.”

The national finalists will compete for more than $100,000 in prizes and scholarships. They will also be competing for the opportunity to represent the United States at the International Rocketry Challenge taking place at the Farnborough Air Show outside of London this July, and compete against teams from the United Kingdom, France and Japan.

Bellevue Schools Foundation supported Odle’s rocketry program this year through an Arts, Enrichment & Innovation grant.

To learn more about TARC visit:

The Bellevue School District acknowledges that we learn, work, live and gather on the Indigenous Land of the Coast Salish peoples, specifically the Duwamish and Snoqualmie Tribes. We thank these caretakers of this land, who have lived and continue to live here, since time immemorial.