PM rocketry team places 8th in nation

Congratulations to Penn Manor’s rocketry team for placing an impressive eighth overall in the Team America Rocketry Challenge, held Saturday outside Washington, D.C.

Maggie McClintock, Tom Sowers and Eric Keefer, all seniors, beat out 95 other teams from across the United States to earn a Top-10 finish. The competitors designed and built model rockets that had to travel 825 feet and back within 48 to 50 seconds while carrying two raw eggs that could not be damaged during the flight or landing.

During Saturday’s event, the teams had to contend with a constant wind gusting up to 20 mph, along with changing weather conditions as sunshine gave way to rain and, eventually, thunderstorms. But Penn Manor’s team was up to the challenge.

After earning a score of 19.44 in the first round to finish in the top 24, Maggie, Tom and Eric improved upon that performance, earning a 15 in the second round for a total score of 34.44. The lower the score, the higher the team ranking.

“I’m very proud of their accomplishments, this year and in past years,” said PMHS science teacher Brian Osmolinski, the team’s teacher supervisor. “This year was particularly difficult, and the competition was strong, yet they managed to keep their cool and make accurate adjustments to their rocket based on years of experience.”

“My favorite moment was seeing their faces light up when they had a great score in the final round.  I know these rocket kids will go on to great things, and I am honored to be a part of that.”

Rocket group shot 5-12-14 (2)
From left, Erick Keefer, teacher supervisor Brian Osmolinski,Tom Sowers and Maggie McClintock pose after a successful flight.