National Association of Rocketry
National Association of Rocketry
Educator's Newsletter
June 2016
in this issue
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Get Certified this Summer

For many of you this is your first issue of the newsletter as we met you visiting the NAR booth at the NSTA National Convention in Nashville. It was nice to see you there and we welcome many of you who are new subscribers to this newsletter and to our rocketry educators network. As this is the June issue I know you are busy with grading final exams and wrapping up the school year if you're not already out for the summer. Maybe your summer plans could include getting certified as a NAR rocket teacher. Take a moment to visit the intro to narTcert  and investigate the program.  It's really simple and would get you equipped to enrich your science material as well as advancing your professional development.  Before you totally go on break, please bookmark model rocketry to use in the next school year and to use the NAR education resources. We are here year round to help you fly safely, learn STEM and have fun.

Aim high!  
Vince Huegele
NAR Education Chairman

TARC logo 2016 Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC) 

 The TARC is the world's largest   rocket contest, sponsored by the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) and  the National Association of Rocketry in partnership with AAPT, DoD, NASA, and AIA member companies.
TARC 2016 Finals brought to a conclusion a great 14th year for the Team America Rocketry Challenge.  We had 789 teams enter the program, the most since TARC's first year, and had 499 teams conduct one or more qualification flights, our highest number (and percentage ) ever.
Congratulations to the team of five 8th graders from Odle Middle School of Bellevue, Washington, who won TARC 2016 with an amazing sum-of-two-flight score of 13.64, competing in their first TARC Finals against the 101 best teams from across the USA -- from 24 states and the US Virgin Islands.  We wish the Odle team every success in flying against the winning teams from France, England, and Japan at the Farnborough Air Show in England in July, where they will be attending as guests of Raytheon.
A particular thank-you to the 105 NAR members who did all the work in making the Finals a great success despite the arrival of a heavy rainstorm in mid-afternoon that limited the 2nd-round flights to the 24 minimum specified in the TARC rules.  The hard physical labor 40 of you contributed to setting up this huge 42-pad model rocket and 10-pad high-power range as well as the amazing skill and teamwork you all demonstrated as we supported the 101 student teams in their flights made everything function perfectly, left the students feeling happy and grateful, and made me proud to be a member of the NAR.  

Key elements of the 2017 challenge are:
  • Payload is one egg of 55 to 61 grams weight and a diameter of 45 millimeters or less
  • Altitude goal is 775 feet, duration goal is a range of 41 to 43 seconds for all qualification flights and for the first flight at the Finals; For those teams at the Finals invited to make a second flight based on their first-flight performance, the target duration for the second flight at that event will be 800 feet and 42 to 44 seconds
  • Gross weight at liftoff must not exceed 650 grams. Body tubes of two different diameters for their exterior structure must be used. The smaller-diameter of the two must be used for the lower (motor and fin) end of the rocket and must not be greater than 42 millimeters (1.65 inches, corresponding to body tubes generally called BT-60) in diameter, and the larger one must be large enough to contain the egg (which may be up to 45 millimeters) plus padding and altimeter. Each tube must have no less than 150 millimeters (5.91 inches) of exposed length, and the overall length of the rocket must be no less than 650 millimeters (25.6 inches) as measured from the lowest to the highest points of the airframe structure in launch configuration. 
  • Must be powered only by commercially-made model rocket motors of "F" or lower power class listed on the TARC Certified Engine List. Any number of motors may be used, but the motors used must not contain a combined total of more than 80 Newton-seconds of total impulse based on the total impulse ratings on the TARC list. 
  • The rocket must separate into at least two pieces for recovery, with one piece containing the egg payload and the altimeter and not the expended rocket motor. This piece must be recovered by a single parachute and must not be connected in any manner to the other piece or pieces of the rocket during recovery. The rest of the rocket may use any safe means of recovery.
  • All rockets flown at the Finals must have a surface finish with a different color or colors than the basic construction materials of the rocket applied over all or most of the outer surface of the rocket's nose, body, and fins by means such as paint, ink, adhesive wraps, etc.
  • No limit on the number of teams from any single school or organization, but no more than three teams containing students who attend the same school or who are members of the same organization, regardless of whether the teams are sponsored by the school or organization, can be invited to attend the Finals.
  • Selection for the Finals will be based on the sum of the best two of up to three qualification flight reports a team submits by April 3.
Thank you to all the parents, teachers, and NAR mentors and volunteers (you) who supported and taught the students in TARC 2016, and congratulations to the nearly 5000 students who competed in it.  I look forward to continuing to work with you and with another amazing crop of young students in this rewarding NAR "paying forward" program in its upcoming 15th year.

NAR 4322 L3 
NAR TARC Manager
Interested in a Fellowship this Summer?

Industry Initiatives for Science and Math Education (IISME), founded in 1985, seeks to transform teaching and learning through industry-education partnerships.  IISME exists to address the critical need for a strong, highly skilled workforce in math, science and technological fields.  IISME recruits sponsors in California from Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz Counties. The majority of Fellowships are offered in the Palo Alto, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara and San Jose Area.
This industry-education partnership focuses on teachers as the primary agents for effecting meaningful change in mathematics and science education.  IISME provides teachers with experiences and tools they need to adapt their practices and change their schools so that all students are prepared to be lifelong learners, responsible citizens and productive employees. 



The North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics

The North Carolina School of Science and Math Summer Accelerator Program extends to a global audience our 30 years of experience offering innovative courses and opportunities to talented high school students.


The Accelerator program offers unique, high-level courses in an innovative format that incorporates both residential, hands-on learning and online education. This summer, explore aerospace engineering by designing and launching your own rocket. Analyze the connection between music and math and compose your own work in Music of the World and the Math Behind It. Uncover the secrets of the dead and real-world excavation methodology in Death and Burial Around the World.


Highly skilled faculty focus their talents on building upon the strengths of high-achieving students in advanced science and math topics in the classroom. Student Life Instructors offer a valuable resource and help provide a safe and enjoyable residential experience for students out of the classroom. NCSSM crafts unique college-level academic experiences, as a constituent and flagship high school of the University of North Carolina system, in a setting designed specifically for high school students.


Explore complex topics, collaborate with peers from around the globe, and get hands-on experience that will kick start college readiness and career interests this summer. 


Innovation Now 

How about a daily 90 second radio program that features highlights in aeronautics and aeronautics technology, science, history, innovations, research, and inventions from the aerospace industry?  Try this one out!   


Civil Air Patrol

Collectively, we can have a remarkable impact on a partnering national organization.  Take the time to contact a local Civil Air Patrol squadron near you and Pay Forward!  You can find a local squadron by entering your zip code or city and state in the online unit locator found on the home page.  Each of these squadrons would welcome your insights and camaraderie!  Additionally, the Civil Air Patrol has an Advanced Rocketry Program (and Guide) for those folks who enjoy High Power Rocketry as well as Mid and Low Power...It's a great opportunity to share experiences and Pay Forward!



National Youth Summit Series  

The National Youth Summit Series brings together some of the best and brightest students to focus on maker, healthy living, and agri-science. Designed for high school students (grades 9 - 12), the Summits provide opportunities to learn technical skills, participate in hands-on activities and workshops, learn from leaders in the field, and visit professional and academic sites. Students attend in teams comprised of two to eight youth and are accompanied by an adult mentor/chaperon


Rocketry School Enrichment and After School Enrichment Program

help students meet Pennsylvania Academic Standards in science. 4-H project books are available for Delaware County, Pennsylvania classroom teachers, home school families, and after school clubs to use with students. 

NASARocket Science 101  

Here is a website where you can learn about the basic parts of a real launch vehicle, how they are configured, and how they work together to launch a NASA spacecraft.  Rocketry Science 101 would be great for students who want to build a virtual rocket.


  Student STEM Competition Offers $100,000 Awards
The Siemens Foundation has opened its annual Competition in Math, Science & Technology, with this year's program offering scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $100,000. Administered by the College Board, the competition calls on high school students to submit original research in technology, science, or math, either as individuals or in teams. Regional competitions will be held at six United States universities in November, with finalists competing in Washington, DC, in December.


The application period for the awards is open now. Applications are due Sept. 30. Additional details can be found on the Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology site.


Promote STEM with Reach For The Stars - National Rocket Competition

There is still time to get your kids into the Reach for the Stars - National Rocket Competition. The deadline for entering is August 31st, which gives museums, schools, scouts and youth groups enough time to get their supplies and run a local event. This year's Competition was kicked off by famed author Homer Hickam in Coalwood, West Virginia at the October Sky Festival - with the original "Rocket Boys" giving the countdown.


Special pricing makes the Competition very affordable. In most cases the cost of the rocket kit, supplies for two launches, achievement certificate and Competition registration is less than the list price of the rocket kit alone. A step-by-step video and on-line help, supplied free with order, are available to guide you. The Competition is for ages 10 to adult, with three levels determined by age. Time and supplies are limited, so get started now! More information is at


The National Aerospace Training and Research (NASTAR) Center

Located about 50 minutes by car from the city of Philadelphia, NASTAR is offering teacher development programs at  no cost to teachers  through its non-profit NASTAR Foundation.   NASTAR's teacher programming emphasis is on fun, experience-based learning that provides teachers with practical tools and activities that they can apply in a classroom environment. Teachers can experience a 3-G suborbital spaceflight simulation in the NASTAR Center centrifuge, ascend to 8,000 feet in the altitude chamber, or learn how airplanes are controlled while piloting the GAT II simulator. The NASTAR Center has added two new teacher professional development programs: "The Atmosphere and Weather" and"Exploring the Solar System" for this summer.


The NASTAR Center is an approved provider of Act 48 continuing education hours by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Each program is worth 8 hours of continuing education.


Programs are offered at no cost to teachers. If you are coming from out of town, they have arranged a meal/room package at a special rate at an area hotel. For enrollment information, contact Greg Kennedy at (215) 355-9100, X 1512, or via email at A program list and registration packet may also be downloaded from the NASTAR Center website, 



NASA NASA Makes Finding Teaching Materials Easy
NASA's Education Materials Finder will help you locate resources that can be used in the classroom. Users may search by keywords, grade level, product type and subject. With hundreds of publications and Web sites indexed, the finder is a great way to locate NASA educational resources.  

Rocketry School Supplies Provided by Donors
As teachers, you know your students' needs best. is available to provide an avenue for public school teachers to submit project requests for the specific materials their students need to learn.

As their name implies, donors choose which projects to support. Once a project is funded, they deliver the materials directly to the school.
In return, teachers submit photos of the project in use and thank-you notes from students, which are then sent to the project's donors.    
Small NAR Logo National Association of Rocketry (NAR) Offers Teachers and Youth Group Leaders Resources
Free resource downloads produced by members who have helped teachers and youth group leaders like yourself all over the United States. 


Space History


Fifty one years ago this month, Astronaut Edward H. White II became the first American to perform what in NASA parlance is referred to as an Extra Vehicular Activity (EVA).  In everyday terms; a spacewalk.

White, Mission Commander James A. McDivitt and their Gemini IV spacecraft were launched into low Earth orbit by a two-stage Titan II launch vehicle from LC-19 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.  The mission clock started at 15:15:59 UTC on Thursday, 03 June 1965.


On the third orbit, less than five hours after launch, White opened the Gemini IV starboard hatch.  He stood in his seat and mounted a camera to capture his historic space stroll.  He then cast-off from Gemini IV and became a human satellite.


White was tethered to Gemini IV via a 15-foot umbilical that provided oxygen and communications to his EVA suit.  A gold-plated visor on his helmet protected his eyes from the searing glare of the sun.  The space-walking astronaut was also outfitted with a hand-held maneuvering unit that used compressed oxygen to power its small thrusters.  And, like any good tourist, he also took along a camera.

Ed White had the time of his all-too-brief life in the 22 minutes that he walked in space.  The sight of the earth, the spacecraft, the sun, the vastness of space, the freedom of movement all combined to make him exclaim at one point, "I feel like a million dollars!".


Presently, it was time to get back into the spacecraft.  But, couldn't he just stay outside a  little longer?  NASA Mission Control and Commander McDivitt were firm.  It was time to get back in; now!  He grudgingly complied with the request/order, plaintively saying: "It's the saddest moment of my life!" As Ed White got back into his seat, he and McDivitt struggled to lock the starboard hatch.  Both men were exhausted, but ebullient as they mused about the successful completion of America's first spacewalk.


Gemini IV would eventually orbit the Earth 62 times before splashing-down in the Atlantic Ocean at 17:12:11 GMT on Sunday, 07 June 1965.  The 4-day mission was another milestone in America's quest for the moon.

The mission was over and yet Ed White was still a little tired.  But then, that was really quite easy to understand.  In the time that he was working outside the spacecraft, Gemini IV had traveled almost a third of the way around the Earth.


Now, that's a long walk!

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