Indiana 4-H group advances in national rocketry competition

May 6, 2014  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - A group of 4-H members from St. Joseph County will compete in the final round of a nationwide contest that tests their skill at building and launching a model rocket carrying a delicate cargo of raw eggs.

The Team America Rocketry Challenge competition will be held Saturday (May 10) at Great Meadow Events Center in The Plains, Virginia, near Washington, D.C. It is a part of the aerospace and defense industry's initiative to build a stronger U.S. workforce in science, technology, engineering and math, known as STEM. 4-H is supporting STEM efforts through several of its programs.

"4-H has been teaching young people about science, technology, engineering, and math for over 100 years," said Renee McKee, assistant director and program leader for 4-H at Purdue University. "New hands-on opportunities such as this one provide youth with additional chances to grow, learn, and develop confidence as they apply skills and concepts they have learned in their earlier 4-H efforts."

Competitors had the task of designing a model rocket that can travel 825 feet into the air and back in 48-50 seconds while carrying two raw eggs that must return to the ground undamaged. The teams with the highest scores based on altitude and speed advanced in the competition.

The team from St. Joseph County competing in the final round consists of Matt Anderson, 15, of Osceola; Michael Streusborger, 15, of Mishawaka;  and Adam Hellinga, 16, of South Bend. An adult volunteer assisting the students is Dennis Miller, a 4-H volunteer from Mishawaka. All three 4-H members have competed against each other previously at their county fairs in the aerospace project but collaborated as a team as they qualified for this competition.

Along with a national title, winners will receive $60,000 in scholarships and prizes and get the opportunity to compete in the Farnborough International Air Show in England this July against student teams from the United Kingdom and France.

More information about the competition is available at

Writer: Emma Hopkins, 765-494-8402, 

Source: Renee McKee, 765 494-8422,

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722;
Keith Robinson,
Agriculture News Page

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