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Hanes Magnet Middle School TARC Boys Team - CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!

What a performance yesterday!! 
Pictured above, from left to right: David Draper, Teacher/Sponsor/Coach, Michael Carlisle (8th grade), Ojas Bharadwaj (7th grade), Evan Ko (7th grade), Craig Belden (7th grade), Ethan Madrin (8th grade), Benjamin Beaudry (7th Grade), and Kenneth Parker, Jr. (Official NAR Mentor and Observer).
Let me explain what our Hanes Dragons Boys Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC) Team accomplished on Friday, March 29th. 
 
Contest Rules:  The rocket must be more than 650mm long and weigh less than 650 grams in launch configuration. The rocket must contain 3 large chicken eggs. It must contain an electronic altimeter to measure altitude. The rocket must go 856 feet in altitude. The payload section of the rocket must remain aloft, from moment of first motion at launch to touchdown, between 43 and 46 seconds. The rocket must separate at apogee into two sections. The payload section containing the eggs and altimeter must come down under two parachutes. The rocket must be more than 650mm long and weigh less than 650 grams in launch configuration. 
 
Scoring: For every foot above or below the target altitude of 856 feet, you are penalized 1 point. For flight duration below the minimum or above the maximum, measured to the hundredths of a second, is multiplied by 4.
 
You have 3 qualification flights which must be declared before the attempt. An official National Association of Rocketry observer must be present and validate the launch results. The best two scores are combined and compared with all the other competing teams across the country. There are over 815 teams representing 49 states. Competitors must be in sixth through twelfth grades with no distinction between middle school teams and high school teams.
 
On Friday the boys team made 2 practice flights before declaring their first qualification. The rocket went 840 feet and was aloft for 41.54 seconds resulting in a very respectable score of 21.84. On qualification flight 2, the rocket went 859 feet and was aloft for 46.10 seconds resulting in a score of 3.40. On qualification flight 3, the rocket went 856 feet and was aloft for 45.54 seconds resulting in a PERFECT score of 0!!!!!!
 
I am so PROUD of these boys who will certainly be invited to the National TARC Rocket Fly Off on May 18 in The Plains, VA (right outside Washington DC) where they will compete with 100 other teams from across the nation. RocketContest.org
 
This was not an easy accomplishment. Over the seven years I have been involved in mentoring or coaching TARC teams, this is by far the best result. This team worked almost every Friday from August 2018 through April 2019. We threw in a few Saturday work sessions during that time as well. The first practice flight was on a cold January day which scored a 75.6. After two practice flights later in January, one of the rocket sections was damaged and had to be replaced. Five more practice flights over two more weekends ended in apparent disaster when the rocket launched at an unusual angle and ended up in trees. (The payload section is still out there swinging about 50 feet above the ground over a creek.) The team did not give up. After waiting for additional rocket raw materials to arrive, various team members spent several unplanned days after school, before school and on weekends building a new rocket. On March 29, their hard work and determination paid off!
 
A similar story is yet to be told of our Hanes Girls TARC team who is also attempting to overcome adversity. On March 29 on the first practice flight of the day, their rocket experienced a catastrophic failure. The team will be working several hours this weekend and early next week to build a new booster section in order to have a last ditch effort at qualification on Sunday, April 7 (the deadline is April 8). Wish them luck and look for their story of grit and resolve in the very near future.