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NASA Announces Preliminary Winners of 2019 Student Launch Competition

Press Release From: Marshall Space Flight Center
Posted: Tuesday, April 9, 2019

History-making rockets have been developed for nearly six decades at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, and on April 6, 45 student teams from 20 states created their own history at the 2018-2019 Student Launch competition.

Completing its 19th year, Student Launch engages middle school, high school and college teams around the country through a comprehensive program that challenges the students to design, build and test a rocket and payload while meeting multiple documentation and review milestones with NASA rocketry experts. After eight months of designing, building, testing, launching and documenting, the preliminary winners of the annual challenge were announced at an awards ceremony April 6 at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville.

2019 Student Launch Preliminary Award Winners

  • Best Vehicle Design Award, presented to the team with the most creative, innovative and safety-conscious overall rocket design:
    • 1st Place: Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon
    • 2nd Place: Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee
    • 3rd Place: University of Akron, Ohio

  • Safety Award, presented to the team that most successfully maximized safety and science value in its design:
    • 1st Place: University of North Carolina – Charlotte, North Carolina
    • 2nd Place: Vanderbilt University
    • 3rd Place: University of Alabama in Huntsville, Alabama

  • Project Review Award, presented to the team with the best combination of written reviews and formal presentations:
    • 1st Place: Vanderbilt University
    • 2nd Place: University of North Carolina - Charlotte
    • 3rd Place: Oregon State University

  • STEM Engagement Award (College Division), presented to the team that best informed others about rocketry and other space-related topics:
    • 1st Place: Citrus College, Glendora, California
    • 2nd Place: University of Akron
    • 3rd Place: University of North Carolina – Charlotte

  • STEM Engagement Award (Middle/High School Division), presented to the team that best informed others about rocketry and other space-related topics:
    • 1st Place: St. Vincent – St. Mary’s High School, Akron, Ohio
    • 2nd Place: Madison West High School, Madison, Wisconsin
    • 3rd Place: Plantation High School, Plantation, Florida

  • Altitude Award (College Division), presented to the college or university team that comes closest to its declared target altitude on Launch Day:
    • 1st Place: North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina – 12 feet from predicted altitude
    • 2nd Place: United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland – 35 feet from predicted altitude
    • 3rd Place: Oregon State University, 48 feet from predicted altitude

  • Altitude Award (Middle/High School Division), presented to the middle or high school team that comes closest to its declared target altitude on Launch Day:
    • 1st Place: Boy Scout Troop 17, Charlottesville, Virginia – 187 feet from predicted altitude
    • 2nd Place: St. Vincent – St. Mary’s High School – 383 feet from predicted altitude
    • 3rd Place: Madison West High School – 468 feet from predicted altitude

  • Payload Design Award, presented to the team with the most creative and innovative payload design while maximizing safety and science value:
    • 1st Place: University of North Carolina - Charlotte
    • 2nd Place: Vanderbilt University
    • 3rd Place: California State University – Long Beach, California

  • Social Media Award (College Division), presented to the college or university team that has the most active and creative social media presence throughout the project year:
    • 1st Place: Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama
    • 2nd Place: University of Massachusetts – Amherst, Massachusetts
    • 3rd Place: Citrus College

  • Social Media Award (Middle/High School Division), presented to the middle or high school team that has the most active and creative social media presence throughout the project year:
    • 1st Place: Boy Scout Troop 17
    • 2nd Place: Madison West High School
    • 3rd Place: Plantation High School

  • Rocket Fair Display Award (College Division), presented to the college or university team that is judged by its peers to have had the best display at the Student Launch Rocket Fair:
    • 1st Place: Piedmont Virginia Community College, Charlottesville, Virginia
    • 2nd Place: University of South Florida, Tampa
    • 3rd Place: Oregon State University

  • Rocket Fair Display Award (Middle/High School Division), presented to the middle or high school team that is judged by its peers to have had the best display at the Student Launch Rocket Fair:
    • 1st Place: Cedar Falls High School, Iowa
    • 2nd Place: St. Vincent – St. Mary’s High School
    • 3rd Place: Plantation High School

  • Best-Looking Rocket Award (College Division), presented to the college or university team that is judged by their peers to have had the best-looking rocket:
    • 1st Place: University of South Florida
    • 2nd Place: Piedmont Virginia Community College
    • 3rd Place: (Tie) University of North Carolina – Charlotte
      • University of Akron

  • Best-Looking Rocket Award (Middle/High School Division), presented to the middle or high school team that is judged by its peers to have had the best-looking rocket:
    • 1st Place: Boy Scout Troop 17
    • 2nd Place: Cedar Falls High School
    • 3rd Place: (Tie) St. Vincent – St. Mary’s High School
      • Plantation High School

  • Team Spirit Award (College Division), presented to the college or university team that is judged by its peers to have had the best team spirit on launch day:
    • 1st Place: Piedmont Virginia Community College
    • 2nd Place: Lipscomb University, Nashville, Tennessee
    • 3rd Place: Auburn University

  • Team Spirit (Middle/High School Division), presented to the middle or high school team that is judged by its peers to have had the best team spirit on launch day:
    • 1st Place: Boy Scout Troop 17
    • 2nd Place: Cedar Falls High School
    • 3rd Place: St. Vincent – St. Mary’s High School

  • Judges' Choice Award, presented to the middle or high school team that is selected by a secret panel of judges to have had the most creative payload, best design and workmanship of its rocket and best engagement with the rocket fair crowd. This includes a $2,000 prize from the National Space Club:
    • 1st Place: Cedar Falls High School
    • 2nd Place: St. Vincent – St. Mary’s High School
    • 3rd Place: North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, Durham, North Carolina

The overall winners of Student Launch will be announced in early May, as the final calculations are still under review for accuracy. This will include the first- through third-place teams, as well as the rookie award winner, with the first-place winner receiving a $5,000 prize from sponsor Northrop Grumman and the second-place winner receiving a $2,500 prize from the National Space Club.

About the Competition

Completing its 19th year, Student Launch engages middle school, high school and college teams around the country through an eight-month program that challenges the students to design, build and test a rocket and payload while meeting multiple documentation and review milestones with NASA rocketry experts. The process is designed to resemble the real-world process NASA and industry engineers use when developing new rockets, payloads and hardware.

For the 2018-2019 competition, teams were no longer challenged to reach one mile in altitude.  Instead, they had to predict the altitude their rocket would fly to months ahead of the competition launch day. The team in each division that came closest won the altitude award.

The custom-built rockets also carried payloads. College and university teams had to select one of two payload options to develop and fly: a rover that deployed from the rocket after landing, drove 10 feet and collected a soil sample or a drone that deployed from the rocket, flew and deployed a navigational beacon. Middle school and high school teams could select one of the college division payloads or they could choose to investigate a scientific or engineering question of curiosity to them.

The young rocketeers carry on the legacy, dream and ambition that fifty years ago put the first humans on the Moon during the Apollo program.

For more information about NASA's Student Launch, visit:

https://www.nasa.gov/education/studentlaunch

Archived launch-day footage will be available on NASA’s Student Launch Facebook account:

https://www.facebook.com/NASAStudentLaunch/

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