Pennsylvania Student Rocketeers Exhibit at White House Science Fair

Oct 18, 2010, 17:23 ET from Aerospace Industries Association

ARLINGTON, Va., Oct. 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Two members from this year's winning squad of the Team America Rocketry Challenge exhibited their champion rocket at the White House Science Fair today.

Nathan Bernhardt and Jordan Franssen from TARC champion Penn Manor High School in Pennsylvania, along with Brian Osmolinski, a physics teacher and director of the rocket club, were at a White House event recognizing student excellence in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. At the White House Science Fair, President Obama viewed exhibits of winning student projects and delivered remarks congratulating the students on their diligence, desire to tackle hard problems, and drive to invent and discover.

"Today's experience was very rewarding," said Franssen. "I never thought when we signed up for this contest that we would end up at the White House."

"President Obama's recognition is a definite inspiration to continue studying math and science," added Bernhardt.

The Penn Manor team not only won TARC in May, but went on to win the Trans-Atlantic Rocketry Challenge against teams from the UK and France at the Farnborough Air Show in London this July. Other members of the team are Tyler Funk and Brendan Stoeckl.

"Programs like the Team America Rocketry Challenge provide students with hands-on opportunities to participate in collaborative science and technology problem-solving programs, which are a crucial tool for attracting young people to our industry," said AIA President and CEO Marion C. Blakey. "I commend President Obama for recognizing these scientists and engineers of the future."

AIA created TARC with the National Association of Rockery in 2003 to celebrate the centennial of flight and to generate interest in aerospace careers among young people. Since its inception, more than 50,000 youth have participated in the contest. Information on the contest is at AIA expects approximately 700 teams from across the country to register for this year's competition.

The White House Science Fair kicks off a week that culminates with the USA Science and Engineering Festival on the National Mall Oct. 23-24. AIA is participating in the festival with interactive exhibits, including rocket building and other fun activities. Aerojet, Aurora Flight Sciences, Embry-Riddle University, NDIA and West Virginia University are exhibiting with AIA.

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Founded in 1919 shortly after the birth of flight, the Aerospace Industries Association is the most authoritative and influential trade association representing the nation's leading manufacturers and suppliers of civil, military and business aircraft, helicopters, unmanned aircraft systems, space systems, aircraft engines, homeland and cybersecurity systems, materiel and related components, equipment services and information technology.

Pictures of today’s event can be found at:

SOURCE Aerospace Industries Association