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Brookville Students In National Media

Brookville’s Green Vale School students were featured in the September/October 2013 issue of Sport Rocketry, the official journal of the National Association of Rocketry.

The seventh-grade students competed nationally at the Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC) last May in Virginia and were the youngest rocket scientists competing. They were also the only team from Long Island that qualified to enter the competition and one of only two teams from New York State.

At the competition, students had to build a rocket weighing less than 650 grams that could fly exactly 750 feet into the air and back with a 15-inch parachute, within 48 to 50 seconds. Any deviation in height or time would add points to a team’s score.  

After the first round of competition, Green Vale's score was 5.92, putting them in third place out of 100 teams. After the second round, for the top 24 rockets, their total score was 8.92 which put them in first place. Their rocket flew as close to a perfect score of zero as any rocket ever flown in the 11-year history of TARC, and the high school team from Texas that landed in first place did so with a score of 29.24.

The hitch for Green Vale’s team was that their rocket’s payload of a single raw egg suffered a hairline fracture during their second flight, disqualifying their second score.   

“Broken egg; broken hearts,” said Peter Zaloom, science teacher and rocket club mentor, explaining what happened. “The boys did the most impressive job of building and fine-tuning their rocket so that it would hit the mark and I am so very proud of them now, and I look forward to watching them compete again next year.”

This is the third year in a row that the Green Vale School Rocket Club has qualified to compete nationally at TARC.

Sponsored by the Aerospace Industries Association, the National Association of Rocketry and more than 24 industry partners, the Team America Rocketry Challenge saw a record turnout in 2013 with 725 teams from 44 states participating.