National Association of Rocketry
National Association of Rocketry
Educator's Newsletter
December 2016
In this Issue
Building More Partnerships

Certainly all of us in NAR like launching model rockets; it's why we are members of the organization. We also like helping schools launch their rockets, too. But there are other groups with students that we also like to fly with. The Civil Air Patrol (CAP), 4-H, Boy and Girl Scouts, as well as AFJRROTC are some organizations that support rocketry education as part of their programs. We've enjoyed having joint activities with these groups that have been very successful in getting new rocketeers to fly and learn STEM.

If you're part of a school, maybe you'd like to connect with them too and have them help your class launch rockets. If you're in those groups, have you thought about connecting with local schools that do rockets? NAR can be your intersection as we are working to build stronger partnerships with these groups to combine our technical rocketry skill with their existing resources to get more kids building and learning. We're part of the formal and informal education network striving to bring aerospace science home to students. Find the NAR club nearest to you at Let's try to all get together and fly next year.

Aim high!
Vince Huegele 
NAR Education Chairman
TARC logo 2017 Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC) is underway

TARC is an aerospace design and engineering event for teams of US secondary school students (7th through 12th grades) run by the NAR and the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA). Teams can be sponsored by schools or by non-profit youth organizations such as Scouts, 4-H, or Civil Air Patrol (but not the NAR or other rocketry organizations). The goal of TARC is to motivate students to pursue aerospace as an exciting career field, and it is co-sponsored by the American Association of Physics Teachers, Estes Industries, the Department of Defense, and NASA.
The first fourteen Team America Rocketry Challenges, held in 2003 through 2016, were the largest model rocket contests ever held. Co-sponsored by the NAR and the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA), the events together attracted over 8,955 high-school teams made up of a total of over 60,000 students from all 50 states. These students had a serious interest in learning about aerospace design and engineering through model rocketry. The top 100 teams each year came to a final fly-off competition in mid May near Washington, DC, to compete for $100,000 in prizes and a free trip to either the Paris or the Farnborough air show in Europe. These teams were selected based on the scores reported from qualification flights that they conducted locally throughout the US.
Are you ready to accept the challenge? 
2017 Team America Rocketry Challenge registration is now open at Teams may register anytime between now and December 2, 2016.
The 2017 Challenge brings a new difficulty to the competition: teams must transition between two different body tube diameters. Rockets must carry one raw egg to 775 feet and back safely in 41-43 seconds, returning it in a separate section. Remember to leave some extra margin in your engine selection, as national finalist teams will be expected to fly their rocket to a second higher target. As with last year, we're not specifying your recovery mechanism, so get creative!
We have a few important announcements:
TARC Essay Contest:
After 15 years of rocket contests, we're ready to celebrate! That's why we're kicking off TARC 2017 with a contest to showcase the talent and excitement in our program. Our essay contest will award one winner a cash prize of $500 and a TARC website feature story. Two runners up will also have their essays published. See full details here. Deadline is December 16, 2016.
Engineering Notebook Competition:
The Engineering Notebook Contest is back again this year. You can read the rules here and see the notebook from the Odle Middle School Space Potatoes that won the 2016 contest. Even if you don't submit your notebook for the contest, we encourage you to keep one. Building an engineering notebook will help you keep organized and analyze your data. It's not a coincidence that the Space Potatoes went on to win TARC 2016 and the International Rocketry Challenge. Entries will be judged by engineers from TARC sponsor companies and the winning team will be awarded a cash prize.
Team Outreach Competition:
The TARC Outreach Competition will also continue this season. The competition provides an opportunity to show off your team's work getting others involved with rocketry and STEM. The team with the best TARC Outreach Competition score that submitted a valid set of qualifying flights (sorry DQs do not count), but did not make the top 100 teams by flight score, will earn a spot to compete in the National Finals and will be eligible to compete for prize money just like all the other teams. We will also award a prize at the National Finals to the team with the best overall outreach program. Teams in the top 100 are eligible for this award too. You can read full details here.
Flight Testing: (December 3, 3pm ET)
Once your TARC rocket is designed and built, it has to be systematically and correctly flight tested in order to be successful in ultimately achieving a good qualification flight score. During this webinar NAR TARC Manager Trip Barber will cover how to conduct a flight testing program, and all of the various factors that might cause a rocket's real-world performance to vary from pre-flight predictions, suffer flight-to-flight variations, or experience reliability issues
Thanks to all the teams sending in photos of your first group meetings and even some early rocket designs/3D-printed transition pieces! Keep the photos coming and we'll do our part by sharing them on Facebook  (@RocketContest)  or follow us on Twitter and Instagram  or be sure to post your own with  #TARC2017.
The entry forms, contestant handbook, rules, and other details about TARC 2017 are posted on the AIA's website. The most recent version of the rules is posted at the bottom of this page.  Event registration is open from September 1 until December 4, 2105.

NAR Support to Team America Rocketry Challenge

The NAR asks all of its Senior (adult) members and its Sections to take an active role in supporting TARC. This event offers a tremendously rewarding opportunity to teach rocketry skills to bright and enthusiastic young people and to "pay forward" to a new generation of rocketeers for the support we once received from others when we were starting out in the hobby. Please use the attached publicity handout to get the word out about TARC. Details of the duties of a mentor or flight observer are available in our 
Mentor Guide.

Mentors are adult (age 21 and above) members of the NAR who volunteer to serve as technical advisors and instructors or coaches to TARC teams. The role of the mentor is to get teams over the initial learning hump of mastering basic rocketry skills; they are not allowed to help teams with their final contest designs. Mentors may also serve as "qualification flight observers."
TARC team members can obtain  a current list of NAR Mentor volunteers.

If you want to volunteer as a NAR Mentor, contact NAR TARC Manager Trip Barber.

Qualification flight observers are adult members of the NAR who watch a team's official "qualification flight" attempt at a mutually convenient time and place sometime before 2 April 2017. The observer verifies that the flight is conducted within event rules and that the egg payload is uncracked after flight, serves as one of the two stopwatch-equipped timers for the flight, and then records the flight duration and altimeter-reported altitude post-flight. He or she signs the official flight-report form, which is then sent in to the AIA. Qualification flight observers are under no obligation to also serve as a mentor to a team, although they may do so. Observers must be impartial; they cannot be related to any member of the team they observe, be employed by the team's school, or be a member of the team's sponsoring non-profit organization. Impartial adults may join the NAR (online if desired) simply for the purpose of being an observer, if a team is not otherwise able to locate an NAR adult member.
NAR Sections help by listing all of their launches on the NAR  "Launch Windows"  web page and by providing free access to these launches and use of Section or personal launch equipment for any TARC team that needs to do a test or qualification flight. 
Only certain NAR-certified model rocket motors of total impulse class "F" and below are approved for flight use in TARC 2017. They are enumerated in  this list.

NAR Site Owner Insurance
TARC teams needing "site owner insurance" (insurance which protects the owner of the land used for a rocket launch) in order to gain access to a flying site for their local test and qualification flights may get this through the NAR, just like NAR Sections (clubs) can do. This insurance is available only for actual landowners (including schools and school boards), not for school officials who are concerned about personal liability. It is available for $15, but only to teams whose teacher supervisor is a member of the NAR, and have at least three student team members who are members of the NAR. You can apply for site insurance using  this printable form.

NAR will provide "narTcert" to any NAR member who is a professional classroom teacher with or without a science/math background, an educator teaching an after school program, a home school teacher or an informal educator with a youth organization. This means the opportunity is open to anyone who wants to teach rocketry on any level. The educator can be a total beginner or an experienced flyer, but both will have to undergo the certification process to be identified by NAR as being qualified to launch with students. Get started today by going to

NAR 4322 L3
TARC Manager
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NAR Scholarship Program, Robert L. Cannon Award, and Extracurricular Activity Grant Awards

Did you know that if you are NAR member between the ages of 17 and 22 attending college or a vocational school that you may be eligible to receive a scholarship?
Are you a teacher or educator who uses model rocketry in the classroom?  You are welcome to apply for a $500 grant to use in your program.
In 2001, the  NAR's scholarship and  Robert L. Cannon educational awards were inaugurated.  Three NAR members received scholarships and two educators received Cannon awards.  Over the years the number of award winners have grown.  In 2015, a new program, the  NAR Extracurricular Activity Grant (EAG) was initiated to provide up to ten $500 grants for after-school activities, such as rocket clubs, scout, Civil Air Patrol, 4-H, or NAR section programs involving model rocketry.  TARC teams are not eligible for these awards.  This year we awarded ten $2000 scholarships, six $1000 scholarships, six Cannon $500 grants, and one Extracurricular Activity Grant (EAG). 
The deadline for applying is June 1st.   These programs are ongoing. See   for details on how to apply. If you have questions concerning either program, please contact Joyce Guzik . Awards are announced at the annual meet (NARAM). You do not have to be present to receive an award.  
Other Scholarship Programs

Society of Women Engineers(SWE)
SWE Scholarships support women pursuing ABET-accredited baccalaureate or graduate programs in preparation for careers in engineering, engineering technology and computer science in the United States and Mexico. In 2015, SWE disbursed approximately 220 new and renewed scholarships valued at more than $660,000.

Great Minds in STEM (HENAAC)
HENAAC scholarship recipients continue to pave the way for future generations of Hispanics and lead by example to empower our communities and enhance our nation's professional technical workforce. Since its inception in 2001, the HENAAC Scholars Program has experienced tremendous growth. In 2008, through the generous support of our program sponsors, we passed the $1M milestone in scholarship awarded. In 2013, GMiS passed the $2M scholarship milestone.

The application deadline every year is APRIL 30.  The HENAAC Scholars Program offers three types of scholarships: Corporate/Government Sponsored Scholarships, Special Recognition Scholarships, and In Memoriam and Personal Tribute Scholarships

National Society for Black Engineers (NSBE) Scholarships
The society offers a variety of NSBE and Corporate-sponsored scholarship and award opportunities to our pre-college, collegiate undergraduate and graduate student, and technical professional members. Our scholarship packages range in value from $500 to $10,500. In addition to the scholarships, we also provide access to awards which acknowledge our highest achieving members, such as the Mike Shinn Distinguished Member of the Year (male and Female) Award with a cash award of $7,500, as well as the Alumni Member and Technologist of the Year. Each of these awardees also receive a Golden Torch Award from the organization.

Aerospace engineering  and aerospace technology scholarships from a variety of institutions and universities found here as well as here.

School Soup
SchoolSoup's research team has identified Aerospace Scholarships. is considered the authority on college/university scholarships and we have listed over $40 Billion in available scholarships. We take pride in having the most comprehensive free and up to date information available online.

NASA scholarships  can be found  here .
Education Materials Finder
NASA's Education Materials Finder will help teachers 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 the best way to locate NASA educational resources.  (
Civil Air Patrol
Aerospace Library  
Dedicated to promoting and sharing Aviation, Air Force, CAP & NASA History, the folks at the Civil Air Patrol have put together a fantastic library of rocketry resources!   Check it out ! CAP is a partner with NAR and supports TARC with many teams.
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA)
Offering answers...
The AIAA has created an online venture called " Ask Polaris "
( to enlighten students, parents and especially guidance counselors of the possibilities and prospects of aerospace engineering

STEM K-12 Outreach
What is Aerospace Engineering?  Aerospace engineering is the branch of engineering focused on the design, construction, and testing of aircraft and spacecraft. It is broken into two major overlapping disciplines: aeronautical engineering (for vehicles that stay within Earth's atmosphere) and astronautical engineering (for vehicles that travel beyond Earth's atmosphere). Aerospace engineering applies the fascinating science behind the forces of nature and the physical properties of aircraft, rockets, and spacecraft.  Check out these STEM K-12 resources.
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National Association of Rocketry (NAR) offers Teachers and Youth Group Leaders Resources
The NAR offers Free Resource downloads ( produced by members who have helped teachers and youth group leaders like yourself all over the United States.
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.

To learn more about our program and how to be a successful teacher see



Project Lead the Way (PLTW) expands to 3,400 K-12 schools

Project Lead The Way (PLTW) prepares students to be the most innovative and productive leaders in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and to make meaningful, pioneering contributions to our world.  PLTW works with new schools and school districts to make sure that implementation of our rigorous curriculum is as smooth and streamlined as possible.  The information packets for our Engineering and Biomedical Sciences classes guide educators through the PLTW process.  They contain course descriptions, sign-up information, and other tips to make PLTW a success at your school.

Reach For The Stars National Winners
Contestants in the seventh annual competition had to build and launch a solid-fuel powered rocket at an event held in their area by schools, YMCAs, Scouts, Challenger Learning Centers and other youth groups. The closest average landing (by parachute) to a target after two launches was declared the winner, with the local winner's results entered into the national Competition. The annual competition runs continuously and is open to ages 10 to 18.


Author Homer Hickam and the original Rocket Boys have kicked off the eighth annual Reach for the Stars -- National Rocket Competition at the October Sky Festival in Beckley, West Virginia. Competitions are already being held across the country, and local competitions can be held anytime throughout the year with a deadline at the end of June. For more details about the competition go to

Engineering and Technology
The work of scientists and engineers impacts our daily life on so many levels, 
but sometimes it's hard to isolate just how those professionals contribute to programs we watch on television or items we see in stores. 4-H uses its Filmmaking Studio and Workshop and STEM and Agriculture programs to help youth understand just how important an interest in science, engineering and mathematics is to advancing our society's access to new technology. The programs provide a unique opportunity to interact with the community through volunteer activities and avenues for the club to engage new mentors who are local industry experts.  Hopefully many of these kids will want to further explore STEM subjects with rocketry. 4-H is a partner with NAR and supports TARC with many teams.
National Coalition for Aviation and Space Education 
Cubes in Space
The only program in the world to provide students (ages 11-18) with a free opportunity to design experiments to be launched into space on a NASA rocket or balloon! This is a Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) based global education program, enabling kids to learn about space exploration utilizing innovative problem-solving inquiry-based learning methods. By participating in this program, students and educators are provided with engaging content and activities in preparation for the design and development of an experiment to be integrated into a small cube.

This year, successful experiments/cubes will be launched into space via sounding rocket from NASA Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Virginia in late June 2017 or on a high altitude balloon launched from the NASA Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility at Fort Sumner, New Mexico in August 2017.  Since we first began the program in 2014, we have had over 5000 participants from 37 countries, and counting! Come and join us!

Space History: 

December 2, 1949: The United States Air Force first fired the Aerobee research rocket (RTV-A-1a) at Holoman Air Force Base. 

December 10, 1959: U.S. Ambassador Lodge presented a resolution to the Assembly of the United Nations (U.N.) recommending that an international conference on the peaceful uses of outer space be convened within the next year or two. Two days later, the United Nations created a permanent 24-nation committee for this purpose. 

December 17, 1969: The U.S. Air Force closed its 22-year investigation into sightings of unidentified flying objects (UFOs), otherwise known as Project Blue Book. 

Dec 2, 1974: NASA's Pioneer 11 spacecraft flew by Jupiter, passing 26,725 miles above Jupiter's cloud top. The spacecraft returned dramatic images of Jupiter's famous Great Red Spot and determined the mass of Jupiter's moon, Callisto. 

December 27, 1984: Members of the ANSMET (Antarctic Search for Meteorites) Project discovered meteorite ALH 84001 in the Allen Hills region of Antarctica. ALH 84001 is the famous Mars meteorite that sparked excitement in 1996 about past life on Mars. 

December 26, 1989: A U.S. patent was awarded for the invention and construction method for the Miniature Traveling Wave Tube (TWT). This technology allowed satellites to carry a greater number of messages in a particular radio frequency signal, and resulted in commercial television applications. 

December 18, 1999: NASA launched Terra, a weather satellite project undertaken jointly with Japan and Canada, on an Atlas rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base. The 4,864 kg spacecraft was part of an international program and was intended to enable new research into the ways that Earth's lands, oceans, air, ice, and life function as a total system. 

December 14, 2009: NASA launched the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) aboard the Delta II 7320 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base between 6:10 - 6:23 a.m. PST. This mission will survey the entire sky in the mid-infrared range, producing over a million images from which hundreds of millions of astronomical objects will be cataloged using far greater sensitivity than any previous mission or program. 
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