Students from Bellevue’s Newport High School take national crown at American Rocketry Challenge

A group of students from Newport High School in Bellevue were named national champions at the American Rocketry Challenge, the world’s largest student rocketry competition, on Saturday, according to a news release.

Newport had the best score of the 99 teams competing in the national finals. A total of 724 teams from 41 states participated in the competition this year.

The first runner-up in this year’s national finals was also a team from Newport. The school has been competing in the American Rocketry Challenge since 2014.

To qualify for the finals, teams had to build a rocket that could safely carry two raw eggs with a target flight duration of 41-44 seconds and an altitude of 835 feet.

At the national finals, teams were tasked with launching the rockets to 810 feet with a flight duration of 40-43 seconds in the first round. The top 42 teams then conducted a second launch required to reach 860 feet with a duration of 42-45 seconds.

“We had our fair share of challenges, but we were determined to work through them, and that’s what made the difference for us in this competition,” 17-year-old team captain Arthur Gwozdz said. “Our advisors and mentors have supported us every step of the way. I am so proud of the team and what we have been able to accomplish.”

The team will now represent the United States at the International Rocketry Challenge at the Farnborough Airshow outside London in July.

“The aerospace and defense industry is helping define our future, and the opportunities available to these students and others in our sector are limitless,” said Eric Fanning, president and CEO of the Aerospace Industries Association. “It’s incredible to share the excitement that is the hallmark of A&D with these students and to see them bring the same kind of enthusiasm to their work in this competition. It’s hands-on engineering that truly is rocket science.”