Elise Spontarelli -
This fall we have two high powered and high energy projects going on at Vector Space. As is tradition, we're building and launching something into the air. And- new this time around- we are [hopefully] keeping our Nitro RC Cars on the ground.
We have nine rocketeers in grades 7-12 participating in the Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC), a national rocketry competition. Students are split into two teams, and each team is designing and building a rocket using OpenRocket software and 3D printed, hand-made and ordered parts. Teams will each launch 25-40 times, attempting to get as close as possible to the target altitude (775 feet) and time constraints (42 seconds) put forth by the competition, all while safely launching and delivering a raw hen egg back to the ground.
Four teams of two have spent the first week of this project completely dismantling their cars. Broken parts will be fixed or replaced, all parts will be cleaned and then reassembly will commence. Each week of the eight week project teams will pit their cars against the others in a race. Races will vary each week: cars will be adjusted to adapt from a street course to off-road conditions, with some tug-of-war and obstacles thrown in the mix as well. With each change in course, students will learn more about how their cars work as they make adjustments to how they drive in order to beat the competition.