HVA AeroHAWKS are off to Paris

Susan EspirituKarns/Hardin Valley, Our Town Youth

I wrote an article in April about the Hardin Valley Academy’s AeroHAWKS team and how in their first year of competition, they had qualified two teams to compete in the American Rocketry Challenge Nationals on May 20 with 800 teams and over 4,500 students. April article on AeroHAWKS

These incredible minds not only qualified to compete but AeroHAWKS Team 1 won first place in this world’s largest student rocketry competition and Team 2 placed 10th. Each won financial prizes as well with Team 1 earning $20,000 and Team 2 a $5,000 prize.

AeroHAWKS Team 1 will now represent the country at the International Rocketry Challenge at the Paris Air Show in June.

According to the American Rocketry Challenge’s website, the students had to design, build and launch a model rocket that safely carries one large hen egg 850 feet and stays airborne between 42-45 seconds before returning to the ground without breaking. That is not all, however. The rocket must be built in two parts that separate at the highest point and land with their own parachute.

You may be wondering as I was about the cost of the trip to Paris. According to Timothy Smyrl, the dedicated teacher who works with these students, “There are no donations needed for the international competition as all expenses are paid by Raytheon Corporation who covers all expenses for the US team.” Smyrl does say the program can use any support going forward as it is not funded by the school, which to me is a travesty. However, if  anyone is interested, you may contact him at his email: timothy.smyrl@knoxschools.org.

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