EAST AURORA, N.Y. (WKBW) - Three teams from Immaculate Conception School in East Aurora have been selected to take part in the national 2015 Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC) in Virginia.
Since September, the students have been building and test flying rockets hoping they would qualify for the competition, which sees entries from over 700 teams each year.
The hard work paid off and the students will head to Washington DC and Virginia for the weekend competition.
"This has been a great boost for our science, technology, and math programs," explained principal Karen Adamski. "And not only that, we have done so well with sharing this with other schools. That's why one of our teams is going because we inspired so many other schools to join."
Several students on the rocket teams said the rocket program has made it easier to understand math and science ideas that are taught in class.
"We work really hard to build the rockets and we do a lot of math to see how good it would be," explained 8th grader Adam Keller.
"This is a perfect example of a school that is moving in exactly the direction we want," said Bishop Richard Malone from the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo. The Bishop visited with the students and gave them a blessing before the student rocketeers headed out on their rocket adventure.
Educators at the school are very supportive of the rocket program which helps encourage the school's STREAM curriculum that focuses on science, technology, religion, engineering, art, and math.
Mentors from MOOG help the students as they design, build, and construct rockets. For the competition, the rockets need to reach exactly 800-feet altitude, carrying a computerized altimeter and egg payload, while doing it all in a specific time period.
Team America Rocketry Challenge is conducted by the National Association of Rocketry with sponsorship from major aerospace industries and NASA. The goal is to inspire students to take up careers in the aerospace or engineering fields.
The winner of the weekend competition will head to Paris in June to compete against rocket teams from France and the United Kingdom.
This is the third year that Immaculate Conception School has been part of the TARC competition and interest is so high that younger students are anxious to join the teams.