The Christian Heritage Academy (CHA) Rocketry Club
The spark that ignited a life changing passion for creativity and design.
By the time I was introduced to the vast world of prop making in 2011, I already had 2 years of construction and design under my belt. No, I wasn't building smaller props and replicas, but instead I was constructing flyable sport and competition rockets.
This club was started when my best friend and I picked up a flyer in the Christian Heritage Academy Upper School lunchroom. This flyer had contest rules and contest objectives for the 2010 TARC (Team America Rocketry Challenge) competition, the world's largest model rocketry contest. The challenge that year was to shoot a rocket with a raw egg up in the air, as close to 825 feet as possible, and have it return to earth within a flight time range of 40-45 seconds without damaging the egg. The first official meeting was held on April 20, 2010 and the club continued to participate in TARC for the next 3 years!
Leading this club definitely had it's own challenges. As the club president, I had to hone not only my designs and flight plans, but also my leadership and ability to work with the whole team. Since no one at my school really knew anything about model rocketry when the club was founded, I gave myself the task of self-teaching (just like with my prop work) everything I could about anything rocketry. After spending thousands of hours over the 4 years I was president of the club, I have learned a lot about how to create rockets for different tasks, altitudes, and recovery methods. I also learned how to manage multiple projects at once and also gained experience running an organization.
While building what is now my current fleet of over 80 individual rockets, ranging from 3 inches to over 7 feet in length, I learned a lot about different materials, tools, adhesives, painting methods, and about construction efficiency, skills and knowledge that I am still refining through my prop making. While we never won TARC, we definitely learned a lot (and most importantly had fun) building rockets and competing with hundreds of teams from around the United States! Building rockets has been a great experience and I hope to create more in the future to go along with my props. I will say, if it wasn't for these rockets I don't think I would be a prop maker today!