In-School Exploration

Provider: Reach for the Stars ~ National Rocket Competition

Contact: Jack & Kathy Colpas

Starting cost per student: $20

Additional Info:

Max. Capacity:

Transportation Needed?  No

Who Arranges Transportation?

Is Financial Assistance Offered?  Yes


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Reach for the Stars ~ National Rocket Competition is an easy-to-run spot landing event – following rules set forth by the National Association of Rocketry. Innovative in its design – it is a national competition that can be hosted locally by schools, Scouts, YMCA, 4-H, C.A.P. and other youth groups. Eliminating the cost of travel allows many more kids to be involved – over 20,000 competitors since we began in 2006.

The RFTS Competition is run in honor of the first Teacher-in-Space, Christa McAuliffe.

Your kids can’t win it – if they’re not in it!

Local competitions also serve to build interest in your school and program. The launches are often watched by kids and parents not directly involved – and frequently covered in the news. See ABC 7 NEWS coverage of the launch at Wilkinson Elementary.

Focusing on winning a rocket competition means focusing on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) subjects and careers.

Competitors (age 10 to 18) are called on to build a solid-fuel powered rocket from a kit or scratch. Easy to follow instructions and a step-by-step Rocket Construction video are included. Launch is safe and can be held on any sports field. Rockets are ignited electrically, propelled by solid fuel and return to earth via parachute. The closest average landing to an on field target (after 2 launches) wins the local competition.

Local winner’s results are entered into the national Competition.

Annually, five national winners will be invited to celebrate at Space Camp / US Space & Rocket Center, “Rocket City” Huntsville, Alabama. We promise the national winners, “memories to last a lifetime and bragging rights for generations to come.


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See ABC 7 NEWS coverage of the launch at Wilkinson Elementary.

Author Homer Hickam (Rocket Boys / October Sky) interviews RFTS National Winner at Space Camp.

Pause-for-Science Rocket Construction / Launch Prep video

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