MORRISTOWN, NJ — Colonial Rocketry from Morristown High School has qualified to compete in the national finals of the 15th annual Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC). The team will face 99 of the top rocketry teams from across the country to claim the title of national champion. The TARC Final Fly-Off will take place May 13 at Great Meadow in The Plains, VA, outside of Washington, D.C.

“The students worked incredibly hard to meet the requirements for this year’s challenge,” said Deborah Spencer, who also teaches Physics and Aerospace Engineering at Morristown High School. “These are truly innovative kids who have gained experience with problem-solving, teamwork and creativity. I’m very proud of what they’ve achieved. ”

TARC is the aerospace and defense industry’s flagship program designed to encourage students to pursue study and careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The competition challenges middle and high school students to design, build and fly a rocket that meets specific altitude and flight duration parameters. This year's rules require a rocket carrying one raw egg to reach 775 feet before returning the egg to Earth, uncracked, all within 41 to 43 seconds.

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Morristown is new to the competition, entering only the competition for the second time.

“Some of the team members were completely new to rocketry,” said Nathanael Yarger, team captain, a senior at Morristown High School, “But TARC really draws you in, this is only our second year but we came together as a team, each contributing in their own unique way.”

Morristown is the only team to qualify from New Jersey. Morristown High School will compete for more than $100,000 in prizes and scholarships, and the opportunity to represent the United States at the International Rocketry Challenge taking place at the Paris Air Show in June. At the international fly-off, teams from the United Kingdom, France and Japan will face the U.S. champions for the international title.

Sponsored by the Aerospace Industries Association, the National Association of Rocketry and more than 20 industry partners, TARC is the world’s largest rocket contest. Now in its 15th year, TARC has inspired more than 65,000 middle and high school students to explore education and careers in STEM fields. This year, 812 teams representing 48 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands designed and built model rockets in hopes of qualifying for the National Finals.

For more information about TARC 2017, please visit