University of Maryland Extension

2013 Maryland State 4-H Aerospace Challenge

Sunday July 21st, twenty-two 4-H competitors from five counties competed 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 2 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 (along with a competition workshop) was a joint effort, sponsored by the Montgomery County 4-H Office, the Flying Tigers Aerospace and Lucky Clovers Clubs of Montgomery County, and the Horizons 4-H Club of Howard County.
Competitors from Montgomery County were:  Juniors: Penny Martin, Seth Martin, Andy Diep, Anna Anand, Heera Anand, Lauren Guernsey. Intermediates:  Mindy Burton, Zachary Luckabaugh, Heather Guernsey, Richie Lempicki and Jessica Bleich.  Seniors: Kai Huang.

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 and 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 4 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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