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Students at Lake Michigan Academy qualify for Team America Rocketry Challenge National Finals | Community Spirit

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Students at Lake Michigan Academy qualify for Team America Rocketry Challenge National Finals
Students at Lake Michigan Academy qualify for Team America Rocketry Challenge National Finals

TARC team, The Dream Team, of Lake Michigan Academy Named Among Top 100 Teams To Compete in Team America Rocketry Challenge National Finals on May 12 Outside of Washington, DC Grand Rapids, Michigan — TARC, Dream Team, at Lake Michigan Academy will compete in the National Finals of the world’s largest rocket contest after qualifying among the top 100 teams in April, beating out the scores of 678 other participating student teams from across the country. The team will now travel to compete in the final fly-off of the Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC) on Saturday, May 12, outside of Washington, DC.

The contest challenges middle and high school students across the country to design and build a rocket that will climb to 800 feet and stay aloft for between 43 and 47 seconds using a parachute for a recovery device. Teams must also transport a payload of two raw eggs in their rocket and return them unbroken. Students compete for $60,000 in prizes and scholarships, as well as a chance to compete nationally at the finals held at Great Meadow in The Plains, Va. (near Washington, D.C.). The winning team also earns the chance to attend the International Air Show in Paris, France.

This is the fourth year of competition for Lake Michigan Academy and the second year that it has qualified for the National Finals.  In May of 2011, Lake Michigan Academy's team was awarded national recognition for Best Design, reflecting the spirit and purpose of the TARC competition.  The team has reassembled for a second year, drawing on the veteran experience of team captain Quinne Boersma and assistants Joe Krupar, Ben Joseph and Ben Wieringa.  Additional innovative ideas for their flights came from their in-house rivals, The Bee's and The Ninja's.

About 6,000 students from across the country took part in the contest in this, its tenth year. Since TARC’s first contest in 2003, over 50,000 students have participated in the challenge. The Aerospace Industries Association sponsors the contest with the National Association of Rocketry, NASA, the U.S. Department of Defense, the American Association of Physics Teachers and AIA member companies.

'TARC is a great way for students to get real aerospace engineering experience, and it’s also a lot of fun,' said Marion Blakey, president and CEO of the Aerospace Industries Association. 'We are delighted Lake Michigan Academy's Dream Team has joined this important effort.”

TARC is aimed at attracting students to science, math and technology education and, ultimately, careers in the aerospace industry. With nearly 60 percent of the aerospace workforce over the age of 50, AIA and other industry leaders hope to spark the interest of future aerospace engineers with programs like TARC. For more information about the Team America Rocketry Challenge visit www.rocketcontest.org.

Lake Michigan Academy is a non-profit educational institution that has been a jewel of Grand Rapids, Michigan for 26 years.  It is founded on and dedicated to the principle of transforming lives by empowering students with learning differences to achieve their full potential.