Starkville’s Christian Home Educators team, which also placed in the top 50, joined New Site this year as the two schools representing Mississippi at the national competition. They were among 669 teams that began the year competing for the chance to go to nationals.
“Both of our (Mississippi) teams competed well, and I’m proud of what we did,” said Ester Potts, New Site’s team sponsor and physics teacher.
With strong winds at the launch site, Potts said the New Site team’s rocket motor was not strong enough to get the vessel to the required height. Neither team advanced out of the first round of competition.
New Site was trying to better its performance from last year, when it placed third in the nation during the team’s first competition appearance. That win brought in $60,000 in scholarship money.
Competing on the New Site team this year were Darrah Pharr, Ashley Cox, Ethan Taylor, Cody Hall, Andrew Moreland, Bree Harris and Cody Taylor, all seniors.
This year’s challenge was to construct a rocket that would fly a raw egg to an altitude of 825 feet and return the egg safely to ground using a streamer to slow the rocket’s descent.
“Even though we didn’t make the top 20,” Potts said, “this was an educational experience for the students that was about more than physics and rockets. It was a total learning experience. We had good community support that helped us get here, and we appreciate that very much.”