Colonial Rocketry soars to new heights in national competition

Adviser Deborah Spencer with the spring 2017 Colonial Rocketry team.
Adviser Deborah Spencer with the spring 2017 Colonial Rocketry team.


There was no sophomore jinx for Colonial Rocketry.

In only its second year of operation, Morristown High School’s model rocket team placed 33rd at the recent Team American Rocketry Challenge (TARC) national finals.

The rocketeers were honored this week by the Morris School District board of education.

Before take off: Colonial Rocketry’s rocket.

Out of 885 teams that compete in the United States, only 100 chosen were chosen for the championship.

TARC is the world’s largest rocket contest, sponsored by the Aerospace Industries Association, the National Association of Rocketry, and more than 20 other industry partners.

For 15 years, TARC has inspired more than 65,000 middle and high school students to explore education and careers in STEM fields.

“That’s a really outstanding accomplishment by the boys and girls of the Colonial Rocketry team, very impressive,” said Mackey Pendergrast, Morris School District superintendent.

“That shows excellence in our teacher leadership, and the dedication of our students, and we’re very proud of them,” he said.

Colonial Rocketry’s adviser was Deborah Spencer, who teaches physics and engineering.

Colonial Rocketry’s rocket taking flight.

With the help of supportive parents and grandparents, the rocketeers traveled last month to The Plains, VA.

Students met representatives of Congress, astronauts, and industry professionals while attending a breakfast on Capitol Hill.

To prepare for the competition, the team flew rockets with National Association of Rocketry (NAR) section members at Godlewsky Farms in Hackettstown.

“It was fun to compete with teams from across the country and even the Virgin Islands,”  team captain Nate Yarger, a senior, said of the finals.

For Colonial Rocketry, the sky is the limit.

“We hope to soar to new heights in the future” said Spencer.

Emma Piascik, a Morristown High School senior, was honored this week by the Morris School District for her selection to the North Jersey Area Wind Ensemble, and for helping the girls swim team win three state sectional championships.

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