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The America Rocketry Challenge (TARC)

Opportunity for USA Middle and High School Student
Teams to Participate in an Aerospace Design Competition

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) and National Association of Rocketry (NAR)

Deadline Date:

12/13/19 Postmarked


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Prizes to USA student teams that are sponsored by schools, nonprofits, and youth organizations for successfully competing in an aerospace STEM competition. Teams may be comprised of students enrolled in grades 6 through 12. Competing teams will design innovative rockets to be presented at an aerospace demonstration.

The purpose of the TARC program is to inspire and excite students about learning and careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

The Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC) 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). The Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC) provides 6th through 12th grade students a realistic experience in designing a flying aerospace vehicle that meets a specified set of mission and performance requirements. Students work together in teams the same way aerospace engineers do. Over a period of several months, they experience the engineering process and compete through qualifying flights of their rockets with thousands of peers all across the country for the opportunity to participate in the culminating national fly-off event.

The rules vary slightly each year to provide a new challenge to competitors. The 2020 rules require teams to design, build, and launch a model rocket that carries one raw egg to an altitude of 800 feet, stays airborne for 40 - 43 seconds, and return the rocket to the ground safely with the egg intact.

After official qualification flights are submitted, the top 100 teams are invited to attend the National Finals in Washington, D.C. Teams competing at the Final Fly-Off look to capture their share of over $100,000 in cash prizes. There are also special awards for activities throughout the day.

The team that places first at the National Finals wins an all-expenses-paid trip to represent the United States in the International Rocketry Challenge, hosted at the Farnborough Air Show in London, England in July 2020. The United States Rocketry Team competes against the winning teams from Japan, the United Kingdom, and France.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 159787

Estimated Size of Grant:

The ten top-ranking teams from the Finals receive scholarship prize money (ranging from $20,000 for first place to $5,000 for 10th) and their schools/sponsoring organizations receive a $1000 cash award to further their rocketry programs, with a combined award pool of $100,000.

Click here to view the full list of prizes and awards:

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Who Can Participate:
- Teams of 3-10 students currently enrolled in grades 6 through 12.
- The application for a team must come from a single school or a single U.S. incorporated non-profit youth organization (excluding the National Association of Rocketry, Tripoli Rocketry Association, or any other rocket club or organization).
- There is no limit to the number of teams that may be entered from any single school or organization, but no more than the best two containing students who attend the same school or who are members of the same organization, regardless of whether the teams are sponsored by that school or organization, will be invited to attend the Finals.
- Teams may have members from other schools or other organizations.
- Teams must be supervised by an adult approved by the principal of the school, or by an officially-appointed adult leader of the youth organization.

Pre-Application Information:

The Challenge is open to the first 1000 teams that submit a completed application, including payment, postmarked between September 1 and December 1, 2019.

A $125 entry fee is required.

Important Dates:
- 09.01.19: 2020 Registration Opens
- 13.01.19: 2020 Registration Closes
- 04.06.20: Qualification Scores Due
- 04.10.20: 2020 Finalists Announced
- 05.15.20: Rockets On The Hill
- 05.16.20: 2020 National Finals

The National Finals: The official date is Saturday, May 16, 2019 at Great Meadow in The Plains, VA, about 50 miles west of Washington, DC. The rain date will be Sunday, May 17, 2019.

The U.S. 2019 champion will compete against teams from the United Kingdom, France, and Japan in the International Rocketry Challenge at the Paris International Air Show in France on June 2019.

Registration Documents:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Submit team's forms:

For questions, contact

Aerospace Industries Association
Attn: Team America Rocketry Challenge
1000 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 1700
Arlington, Virginia 22209
(703) 358-1033

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

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