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La Mirada Students Place in Top 100 in World's Largest Student Rocket Contest E-mail
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Written by Tony Aiello   
Monday, 03 June 2013 16:54

La Mirada High School Rocketry Club: Front Row: Akash Soma, Justin Gocho, Kevin Lim, Emily De Boer; Back Row: Hassaan Shakeel, Ryan Haro, Evan Klansek, Ricardo Jauregui, Zack Hart, James Gallardo, Fernando Tapia

After months of preparation, La Mirada High School students compete for national title in AIA’s Team America Rocketry Challenge.

The Plains, VA~Eleven students from La Mirada bested more than 625 teams nationally recently to be picked to be one of the 100 hundred schools nationwide to compete in the 2013 Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC).

The top 100 finishers advanced to the National Finals recently held on Saturday, May 11 at Great Meadow in The Plains, Va.

La Mirada High’s team received a qualifying score that placed them well within the top 100 teams nationwide, and in the finals, they finished 73rd out of the 100 schools.

They were competing for the national title, $60,000 worth of scholarships and prizes and a chance to participate in NASA’s Student Launch Initiative.

TARC is the world’s largest student rocket contest that aims to inspire students to pursue education and careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

For months, these amateur rocketeers worked to design, build and perfect model rockets that can safely carry one raw egg up to an exact altitude of 750 feet up in the air and return to the ground within 48-50 seconds – a mere two-second window before incurring penalties.

All seniors represented La Mirada High in this year’s contest: Kurush Dubash, Hassaan Shakeel, Emily De Boer, Justin Gocho, Evan Klansek, Fernando Tapia, Ryan Haro, Zach Hart, Kevin Lim, Ricardo Jauregui, and Akash Soma.

“I’m so happy for our team. All 11 students in this club have put in countless hours of work testing out their rocket and their work paid off. They have truly made myself, our school, and our district proud,” said James Gallardo, team mentor who also teaches AP Physics at La Mirada High School. “These are truly exceptional kids who are sure to keep impressing everyone around the area. It is amazing that out of 100 teams, we are one of only two public high schools in California to compete this year.” 

Sponsored by the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA), the National Association of Rocketry (NAR) and more than 30 industry partners, TARC annually brings together more than 5,000 students from across the country. Participants represent a diverse group of students from urban and rural America, with a breakthrough number of all girls’ teams and teams from underserved schools.

In order to travel to Virginia and fund other rocket expenses, the team had lots of fundraising. They hosted a McDonald’s McTeacher’s Night, and received plenty of community support.

“The community came through and it is greatly appreciated.  We were are all so excited to be able to represent California and more so La Mirada, and prove that we can do something big,” says Treasurer Emily De Boer.

The team was very excited to be able to represent the Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District, as well as the Southern California Community in Virginia.

“TARC is one of the most exciting things I have participated in at school,” said club member Kurush Dubash, “It was a great experience and we had a lot of fun with the contest. We are now are working with underclassmen to continue on with the club and to prepare for future competitions.”


 
 

 

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