The American Rocketry Challenge is the world’s largest student rocket contest and a key piece of the aerospace and defense industry’s strategy to build a stronger U.S. workforce in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Sponsored by the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) and the National Association of Rocketry (NAR), The American Rocketry Challenge was created in the fall of 2002 as a one-time celebration of the Centennial of Flight, but by popular demand became an annual program.
Nearly 5,000 students from across the nation compete each year. The contest’s rules and scoring parameters change every cycle to challenge the students’ ingenuity and encourage a fresh approach to rocket design.
Based on local qualification flights, the top 100 teams are invited to Washington, D.C. in May for the National Finals. Top placing teams split more than $100,000 in prizes. The winning team and their coach receieve an all expenses paid trip to London or Paris, depending on the year, to complete in the International Rocketry Challenge taking place at the Farnborough or Paris International Air Shows.