The National Finals of the 2021 American Rocketry Challenge, the world’s largest rocket contest with nearly 5,000 students nationwide competing each year, will blast off in Pasco this Sunday from 9:00 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. The contest gives middle and high school students the opportunity to design, build and launch model rockets and hands-on experience solving engineering problems.

Pasco is part of the group of ten regional launch sites across the country hosting the finals competition this weekend. Students from across the Pacific Northwest will be gathering at a relatively remote launch location: one mile north of 2881 E. Sagemoor Rd. (GPS devices); Coordinates - Latitude 46.404, Longitude -119.013.

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Teams are comprised of at least three members, and can have up to as many as 10, tasked with building, launching and flying a rocket for at least 40 seconds to qualify, carrying a raw egg to an altitude of 800 feet before having it return to the ground safely with the egg intact.

Pasco will host students traveling from Seattle, Mercer Island, Portland, Bellevue, Camas and more to compete for a chance to win some pretty big prizes.

The finalists come from 615 secondary-school students across 43 states, Washington D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The top 100 teams will compete for the title of National Champions and $100,000 in cash and prizes.

Students have had to deal with the ramifications of COVID again in 2021, just one of a few unusual pandemic inspired and imposed hurdles this year.

Between working out the kinks of practicing virtually and socially distanced launches only, students had to be most meticulous in following pandemic guidelines and working on their calculations despite difficult circumstances everywhere.

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