• 70°

Rocketry soars at RHS for TARC

Russellville is continuing its rocketry tradition and has made it into the Team America Rocketry Challenge National Championship. Two teams from RHS made qualifying scores to compete: the Bears and the Tigers.

They are two out of 101 teams that will be competing to go to the world competition in Paris. According to sponsor Gabe Willis, all of the students have participated in the rocketry program before and brought their background knowledge into this season.

“All of their past experience has definitely helped,” said Willis.

Students built rocket motors from scratch and came up with efficient designs for all parts of the rocket, Willis said.

Now students are redesigning parts and preparing a test launch to get ready for the national competition, which will take place in Virginia May 18.

The competition, which this year honoring the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, requires a team to launch a rocket carrying three raw eggs that must reach an altitude of at least 856 feet before separating and returning the uncracked eggs to earth – all within 43-46 seconds and with strict height and weight requirements.

With a third team from Franklin County, from Tharptown High School, also qualifying to compete at nationals, Franklin County is home to three of six teams across the state headed to TARC.

One additional Russellville team, two additional Tharptown teams and one Phil Campbell team also sent scores for the TARC competition but did not qualify this year.

RHS Rocketry Teams


Rudy Ajualip-Huarcas

Katie Burns

Seth Burns

Jessica Morrow


Conner Byars

Bailey Hargett

Elijah Hawkins

Carrie Ruth Jackson

Tino Soto