JSerra Catholic High School and our Engineering Magnet Program (EMP) is hosting a model rocket contest for 7th graders from 8:00-11:00 a.m. on Thursday, November 11, 2021.
The contest is open to 7th grade students at the following schools:
- St. Edward the Confessor
- St. Anne
- St. John's Episcopal
- St. Mary
- Our Lady Queen of Angels
- Mission Basilica
- Our Lady of Fatima
- St. Geneva
- Check-in / Rockets Submitted to Judges: 7:30-8:00 a.m.
- Breakfast/Rocket Walk-Around: 8:00-9:00 a.m.
- Round 1 (launch all rockets): 9:00-10:00 a.m.
- Round 2 (final four): 10:00-10:30 a.m.
- Awards and Closing: 10:30-11:00 a.m.
Model rocketry was developed during the "space race" era. Due to increased publicity in aerospace companies such as Space X, Virgin Galactic and NASA, there is an increased interest in hobbies related to aerospace. Building and flying model rockets is a logical extension. It is hoped that students who have flown model rockets will have an increased understanding of the design requirements and forces for powered flight which will provide concrete examples when these topics are covered in their STEAM classes.
JSerra Catholic High School and its Engineering Magnet Program (EMP) is hosting a model rocket contest. This unique competition will be judged based on the criteria described below. The contest is open to 7th grade middle-school students. Each school may enter one 7th grade team with a maximum of three students on each team. These teams will be competing for pride, trophies, and academic scholarships offered by JSerra.
JSerra will supply each school with a rocket package. Each package will consist of all construction materials necessary to build and launch a model rocket. Engines and recovery wadding will be supplied by JSerra on launch day. On launch day, each team's rocket will be examined to determine its flight worthiness. Contest teams will use their own ingenuity to design and paint their rocket.
The winner of the competition will be based on a combination of the rocket's performance and predictions of their rocket's behavior. A team's score is based on the following:
- Targeted time in the air (75% of score) — Rockets must be aloft for a minimum of ten seconds. Less than ten seconds results in being disqualified. You will submit your projected time aloft to the judges prior to launch. The closer your team is to predicting time aloft, the higher your score.
- Space-X Return (25% of score) — Rockets will be scored based on how close they return to the launch pad. Landing closer to the launch site will improve your score. Judges' decisions relating to safety, launch, tiebreakers, and scoring are final.
1st Place Prize — $12,000 Scholarship
Each team member will receive $3,000 off tuition per year for all 4 years of high school at JSerra along with automatic acceptance to the Engineering Magnet Program.
2nd Place Price — $8,000 Scholarship
Each team member will receive $2,000 off tuition per year for all 4 years of high school at JSerra along with automatic acceptance to the Engineering Magnet Program.
3rd Place Prize — $4,000 Scholarship
Each team member will receive $1,000 off tuition per year for all 4 years of high school at JSerra along with automatic acceptance to the Engineering Magnet Program.
Trophy — Best Design
The judges will select one rocket for a "best design" award. Creativity is highly encouraged!
To qualify for the JSerra STEAM Championship, you must meet these requirements:
- Each team must consist of students in 7th grade. Three students per team.
- Each contestant must sign a JSerra Media Release.
JSerra Catholic High School may disqualify prior to or during competition any competitor who is not in compliance with any of its eligibility requirements; and it may require any competitor who is found to have not followed any of the eligibility requirements to forfeit their prize.
- Rocket kits will use the classic Estes Alpha design. If built according to the directions, it will fly! Rockets with any changes to this kit (i.e., change of tube length) must be submitted to the judges (Dr. Kilduff and Dr. Maffia) three days prior to the start of the competition. These rockets will undergo a stability test by JSerra. Only approved rockets will be launched.
- Rocket set up and launch will be handled by JSerra. Student teams under the supervision of JSerra will be permitted to launch their rocket. Only one team member is allowed near the rocket launch pad. Teams will be escort to and from the launch area. Spectators will not be allowed near the launch area.
- Weather conditions will determine launch parameters. Parameters include launch location, direction of launch and parachute size. Rockets will be equipped with a standard A8-3 engine. All rockets start with an unaltered 12" parachute. Cutting of parachute opening and opening size is optional. Contestants will load recovery wadding and parachute prior to launch.
- Rockets must be able to withstand up to three launches. Only minor repairs can be made to a previously launched rocket such as parachute tears, shock cord re-attachment, or fin re-gluing. After any repairs, approval must be obtained by the Judges to determine the rocket's suitability for the next flight.
- There will be two launches to determine the winner. The top four (4) rockets from round 1 will compete in round 2. Substitution of rockets are not allowed between launches. The same rocket must be used in round 2.
- Prior to the second round of launches, the top four teams can update their predicted time aloft value. Values will be submitted to the judges in a timely fashion after the announcing of the top four rockets.
- Judges' decisions relating to safety, launch, and scoring are final.
- The basic rocket kit will be an Estes Alpha supplied by JSerra.
- The main body tube of the rocket must be no smaller than 19.5 cm (7 ¾ inches). This does not include the nose cone.
- Rockets may have 3 to 6 stabilizer fins.
- Rockets with engine, parachute, and recovery wadding must pass an inspection and possible stability test.
- Rockets must be minimally rugged so that they survive a minimum of 3 launches using an A8-3 class rocket engine.
- Students are encouraged to purchase additional rockets for testing purposes. You can purchase the rocket packages at AC Supply.
JSerra will follow the NAR safety code listed below. JSerra officials and judges will make final determinations on rulings, measurements, and awards.
NAR: MODEL ROCKET SAFETY CODE
EFFECTIVE AUGUST 2012
Materials. I will use only lightweight, non-metal parts for the nose, body, and fins of my rocket.
Motors. I will use only certified, commercially-made model rocket motors, and will not tamper with these motors or use them for any purposes except those recommended by the manufacturer.
Ignition System. I will launch my rockets with an electrical launch system and electrical motor igniters. My launch system will have a safety interlock in series with the launch switch, and will use a launch switch that returns to the "off" position when released.
Misfires. If my rocket does not launch when I press the button of my electrical launch system, I will remove the launcher's safety interlock or disconnect its battery, and will wait 60 seconds after the last launch attempt before allowing anyone to approach the rocket.
Launch Safety. I will use a countdown before launch, and will ensure that everyone is paying attention and is a safe distance of at least 15 feet away when I launch rockets with D motors or smaller, and 30 feet when I launch larger rockets. If I am uncertain about the safety or stability of an untested rocket, I will check the stability before flight and will fly it only after warning spectators and clearing them away to a safe distance. When conducting a simultaneous launch of more than ten rockets I will observe a safe distance of 1.5 times the maximum expected altitude of any launched rocket.
Launcher. I will launch my rocket from a launch rod, tower, or rail that is pointed to within 30 degrees of the vertical to ensure that the rocket flies nearly straight up, and I will use a blast deflector to prevent the motor's exhaust from hitting the ground. To prevent accidental eye injury, I will place launchers so that the end of the launch rod is above eye level or will cap the end of the rod when it is not in use.
Size. My model rocket will not weigh more than 1,500 grams (53 ounces) at liftoff and will not contain more than 125 grams (4.4 ounces) of propellant or 320 N-sec (71.9 pound-seconds) of total impulse.
Flight Safety. I will not launch my rocket at targets, into clouds, or near airplanes, and will not put any flammable or explosive payload in my rocket.
Launch Site. I will launch my rocket outdoors, in an open area at least as large as shown in the accompanying table, and in safe weather conditions with wind speeds no greater than 20 miles per hour. I will ensure that there is no dry grass close to the launch pad, and that the launch site does not present risk of grass fires.
Recovery System. I will use a recovery system such as a streamer or parachute in my rocket so that it returns safely and undamaged and can be flown again, and I will use only flame-resistant or fireproof recovery system wadding in my rocket.
Recovery Safety. I will not attempt to recover my rocket from power lines, tall trees, or other dangerous places.