My Journey from Writer to Rocketeer

Audrey ’20
 3-2-1, liftoff! Start your engines because it’s time for the Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC)!
Looking back, I never could have imagined I’d join my school’s rocketry team. Coming into Lawrenceville, I was convinced I was going to be a writer and participate solely in writing extracurriculars. While I had always enjoyed my math and science courses, I never experienced any application of them outside the classroom. My perspective changed the fall term of my sophomore year.
After binge watching Neil deGrasse Tyson, then seeing Lawrenceville’s Rocketry Team table at Club Night, I decided join the squad. We began working towards our TARC qualification flights, a national competition that challenges students to build a model rocket that flies a specific altitude within a limited timeframe. This year, the competition requires the rocket to fly 856 feet in 43 to 46 seconds and return three raw hen’s eggs to the ground uncracked.
The Rocketry Team opened a new world of possibilities. Suddenly, I was researching different parachutes and engines and debating body tube lengths. With Lawrenceville’s incredible resources, the experience because even more incredible as I helped design fins and then created them using a laser cutter.
In the spring of my sophomore year, we made the Top 100 teams and competed at TARC Nationals. After a successful first round, we were presented with a new challenge: make our rocket fly 25 feet higher within an adjusted timeframe. While the work was difficult, it proved rewarding as we finished eighth in the country.
Thanks to the Rocketry Team, I have found a new way to enjoy math and science in a creative and collaborative setting. I would like to express my appreciation to TARC as well as team advisors Dr. [David] Laws (Dean of Academics/Science Master) and Mrs. [Mary] Calvert (Science Master) for giving me this opportunity.
Fingers crossed for another success!

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Through House and Harkness, Lawrenceville challenges a diverse community of promising young people to lead lives of learning, integrity, and high purpose.  Our mission is to inspire the best in each to seek the best for all.