On the launch pad

Rebecca Zurek blasts off as National rocketry champion.

On the launch pad

Aidan Haley, Reporter

While some girls are running track, serving volleyballs, and hitting softballs, sophomore, Rebecca Zurek has been winning national championships for launching rockets.

“Just over three years ago, I was at 4-H Camp and given the opportunity to launch my first rocket,” Zurek said. “I found a rocket that I liked out of the ones they were handing out, prepped it for launch, then launched that rocket around 3 times.”

For the last three years since that launch, she has been exploring rocketry, and trying to improve her rocket launches. Over the course of those years she has had some good and bad launches.

“The best launch I’ve had was my high power certification,” Zurek said. “Everything went according to plan.”

In order for rocket launches to work perfectly, the altitude of the rocket, the parachute, weight, and motor all have to work in conjunction properly.

“One of my worst launches was when I tried launching my high powered rocket for a test flight in Colorado, and the parachute didn’t fully eject, causing a fin to break, and the nose cone to shatter,” Zurek said. “I had spent a couple of days and multiple cans of spray paint painting the rocket beforehand.”

This past summer, Rebecca received a National Champion Award at the National Association of Rocketry Annual Meet (NARAM).

“I’m hoping to go into aerospace engineering, and hopefully get a job in aerodynamics.”