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Sylvania Northview High School teams gear up for national finals

One of the engines removed from a rocket built by students at Sylvania Northview High School.{p}{/p}
One of the engines removed from a rocket built by students at Sylvania Northview High School.

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One local high school has two teams among the top 100 national finalists in The American Rocketry Challenge.

The teams from Sylvania Northview High School will be competing this weekend for the honor of national champion and a cash prize.

It's been quite the journey for the two Sylvania Northview High School teams who've spent months perfecting rockets for this weekend's national finals. To this point, it's been a lot of trial and error.

"Our first one got run over by a UPS truck, our second one got cut in half, our third one caught on fire, and now we're on number four," said Cole McKinley.

But that's the thing about trial and error, it helps you perfect your craft.

"Having to redo the rockets, the four rockets every single time, it took a lot of work in the lab, but it only took us a few days because we already knew how to do it from other rockets being built already," Alexa Gillenwater said.

Practice for these teams takes a lot of time and can be tedious, but it's a necessity to get where they want to be.

"Practicing building the motors, talking out what happened with the previous flight, of course keeping data so writing it all down. And fixing our error, if there was any," said Joseph Paff.

If the two teams place well, in the top 25, they'll get a spot in the NASA Student Launch Competition, which a Sylvania Northview team just happened to recently win.

"We won first place judges award, first place altitude award, first place for best looking rocket and then first place for social media as well," said Nina Echelmeyer.

Sponsors Toledo Jet and Parker-Hannifin assisted a lot of donations to help build these rockets. It's an investment into their future, and a bright one at that thanks to this program and competitions. Their resume's for college will certainly stand out.

"If you can write on there that you won a national competition in STEM through NASA, that really starts some conversation, that starts a career," said Coach Ryan Reed.

Taking part in the NASA Student Launch is a great way to get your foot in the door with NASA, whatever your specialization is. But in order to get there, the two teams on Sunday will have to be pretty impressive.

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