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Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC)

Opportunity for USA Student Teams to
Participate in an Aerospace Design Competition

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) and National Association of Rocketry (NAR)

Deadline Date:

12/01/17 Postmarked for mailed submissions


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Prizes to USA student teams that are sponsored by schools, nonprofits, and youth organizations for successfully competing in an aerospace STEM competition. Teams may be comprised of students enrolled in grades 7-12. Competing teams will design innovative rockets to be presented at an aerospace demonstration.

The purpose of the TARC program is to inspire and excite students about learning and careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

The Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC) is the world’s largest student rocket contest and a key piece of the aerospace and defense industry’s strategy to build a stronger U.S. workforce in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC) provides 7th through 12th grade students a realistic experience in designing a flying aerospace vehicle that meets a specified set of mission and performance requirements. Students work together in teams the same way aerospace engineers do. Over a period of several months, they experience the engineering process and compete through qualifying flights of their rockets with thousands of peers all across the country for the opportunity to participate in the culminating national fly-off event.

All rockets must be built and flown in accordance with the Model Rocket Safety Code of the National Association of Rocketry (NAR), any applicable local fire regulations, and Federal Aviation Regulations.

One hundred of the best teams from across the country will be invited to compete in the finals on May 12, 2018, at Great Meadow, The Plains, VA. It is recommended to reach out to your local community to find sponsors.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 159787

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

The ten top-ranking teams from the Finals receive scholarship
prize money and their schools/sponsoring organizations receive a
cash award to further their rocketry programs, with a combined
award pool of $100,000.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Who Can Participate:
- Team members must be students who are currently enrolled in grades 7 through 12 in a U.S. school or homeschool.
- Minimum team size is three students and maximum is ten students.
- Each student member must make a significant contribution to the designing, building, and/or launching of the team's entry.
- The application for a team must come from a single school or a single U.S. incorporated non-profit youth organization (excluding the National Association of Rocketry, Tripoli Rocketry Association, or any other rocket club or organization).
- There is no limit to the number of teams that may be entered from any single school or organization, but no more than the best three containing students who attend the same school or who are members of the same organization, regardless of whether the teams are sponsored by that school or organization, will be invited to attend the Finals.
- Teams may have members from other schools or other organizations.
- Teams must be supervised by an adult approved by the principal of the school, or by an officially-appointed adult leader of the youth organization.

No part of any of these activities for a rocket used in a qualification flight or at the Finals may be done by any adult, by a company (except by the sale of standard off-the-shelf components available to the general public, but not kits or designs for the event), or by any person not a student on that team.

No student may be on more than one team. The supervising teacher/adult may supervise more than one team.

Pre-Application Information:

See Supporting Documents to download Registration Packet.

Submit an application for a team of three to ten students (grades 7-12) before December 1, 2017. The Challenge is open to the first 1000 teams that submit a completed application, including payment, postmarked between September 1 and December 1, 2017. TARC recommends you submit your registration online rather than by mail.

-September 1, 2017: Registration opens
-December 1, 2017: Deadline
-April 2, 2018: Qualifying scores due
- April 6, 2018: Top 100 teams announced
- May 11, 2018: Rockets on Hill Reception in Washington, DC
-May 12, 2018: National fly-off event held at Great Meadow in The Plains, VA.
- May 13, 2018: National fly-off rain date
- July 19, 2018: International Rocketry Challenge Presentations, London, UK
- July 20, 2018: International Fly-Off Day London, UK

Important Forms and Documents:


Contest Background:

After your application is processed, your team will receive a confirmation email with important information. If you do not receive a registration confirmation email within a week of submitting your application, please check your spam filter and then send an email. See Contact Information below.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Online registrations may be submitted here:

Mail the Registration to:
Aerospace Industries Association
Attn: Team America Rocketry Challenge
1000 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 1700
Arlington, Virginia 22209
(703) 358-1033

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming