University of Maryland Extension

2013 Maryland 4-H Aerospace Challenge

Senior competitors: Kai Huang, Montgomery; Kerrin Viney, Carroll; Joshua Dreisman, Howard; and Luke Basom, Howard
Image Credit: 
Daniel Diep

On Sunday, July 21st, twenty-two 4-H competitors from three counties participated in the 2013 Maryland State 4-H Aerospace Challenge held at the Howard County Fairgrounds. The challenge determined the two aerospace delegates who will compete as part of the Maryland 4-H Engineering Team at the National 4-H Engineering Challenge scheduled in September at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.

Senior competitors were given two hours to complete a flight-worthy rocket of original design made entirely of household items. The rockets were evaluated on design and flight characteristics and had to achieve a minimum altitude of 200 feet and be recovered undamaged. Senior Division competitors were paired for the rocket-building session, but were scored individually.  Also competitors were required to complete two written exams—one for general aerospace knowledge and another for parts-identification purpose.

Intermediates were given two hours to complete the building of a rocket using standard, interchangeable rocket parts with no instructions given. And Juniors were given a level-one kit to build with little assistance from adult volunteers.  Both of the younger divisions also included a knowledge and parts exam.  

The event was a joint effort sponsored by the Flying Tigers Aerospace and Lucky Clovers clubs of Montgomery County, and the Horizons 4-H Club of Howard County. Organizers included Rachel Harris, Joe and John Schepis, Cathy and Andrew Dobos, and Andy Driesman. One week earlier an aerospace workshop with educational presentations, build sessions, and a sport launch was held to prepare 4-Hers for the Challenge. This workshop was sponsored in part by the Montgomery County 4-H Office. Between the workshop and Challenge, five Maryland counties were represented.

The Final Results:
Seniors:
Champion Team (advancing to Nationals): Joshua Driesman and Luke Basom, Howard County
1st Place: Joshua Driesman
2nd Place: Luke Basom
Reserve Champion Team: Kai Huang, Montgomery County and Kerrin Viney, Carroll County
3rd Place: Kai Huang, Montgomery County
4th Place: Kerrin Viney, Carroll County

Intermediates:
Champion and 1st Place: Jessica Bleich, Montgomery County
Reserve Champion and 2nd Place: Aaron Basom, Howard County
3rd Place: Caleb Driesman, Howard County
4th Place: Richie Lempicki, Montgomery County

Juniors:
Champion and 1st Place: Imaad Syed, Howard County
Reserve Champion and 2nd Place: Aaban Syed and Kelly Spicer, Howard County
3rd Place: Heera Anand, Montgomery County
4th Place: Anna Anand, Montgomery County

The competition, held in overcast conditions, was tightly scored, with only four points separating first and second place for the Seniors, and a tie for second place for the Juniors!  The competitors had the opportunity to learn a great deal about aerospace, apply and test their knowledge, cheer for each other at the launch, and have fun! Congratulations to all our competitors and big thank you to all our volunteers!

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