Millbrook Advances to National Finals of World’s Largest Rocket Contest

Millbrook has qualified to compete in the national finals of the 15th annual Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC), which is the world's largest rocket contest.

Team ∆a/∆t will represent Millbrook School at the highly competitive event, and will face 99 of the top rocketry teams from across the country to claim the title of national champion. The TARC Final Fly-Off will take place May 13, at Great Meadow in The Plains, VA, outside of Washington, D.C.

“The students pulled off a fantastic set of qualifying flights, despite serious time constraints,” says team mentor Dr. Jeffrey LaCosse, the students’ advanced physics teacher.

TARC is the aerospace and defense industry’s flagship program designed to encourage students to pursue study and careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). The competition challenges middle and high school students to design, build, and fly a rocket that meets specific altitude and flight duration parameters. This year's rules require a rocket carrying one raw egg to reach 775 feet before returning the egg to Earth, uncracked, all within 41 to 43 seconds.

This is the first year Millbrook School has entered the competition. Team ∆a/∆t will compete for more than $100,000 in prizes and scholarships and the opportunity to represent the United States at the International Rocketry Challenge taking place at the Paris Air Show in June.

“Being the only female on Team ∆a/∆t was a challenge for me at first, but I was actively involved and realized that my team members were very supportive. This project made me realize that I want to be a female scientist and encourage other females to be in this industry in the future,” said senior student Sihyun “Si” Wei.

“For me, this project really highlighted my year in advanced physics and how we can apply the concepts we learned in the classroom to real-life. I want to be a pilot and work in the aerospace industry, and participation in TARC only confirmed my interest and passion,” said senior Thomas Denney.

Sponsored by the Aerospace Industries Association, the National Association of Rocketry, and more than 20 industry partners, TARC is the world’s largest rocket contest. Now in its 15th year, TARC has inspired more than 65,000 middle and high school students to explore education and careers in STEM fields. This year, 812 teams representing 48 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands designed and built model rockets in hopes of qualifying for the National Finals.

For more information about TARC 2017, please visit