Interested in Joining?
Early interest for the 2023-2024 Competitions now open: https://forms.gle/qvon1LMVLscvteYh8
Join the general club, enroll here (please see form above for competition registration) – Morris County, NJ 4-H Association – 4HOnline (morris4h.org)
Email for more info or questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
Did you know our rocket teams involve a LOT of different interests? Just like real space programs, we have a huge variety of work to do, from building rockets and scientific payloads to graphics design and public education! If you’re working towards a career, chances are that our team is a great opportunity to develop and practice your skills! We’re preparing for the next season right now, if you’re interested you can submit this form – https://forms.gle/qvon1LMVLscvteYh8
Our NASA Student Launch Initiative (SLI) team is our flagship program due to its technical level (competing with universities!), but with that it’s our most challenging and demanding for each and every member. If you’re able to take it on, it’s one of the most rewarding experiences available to high schoolers in the entire country.
- When are meetings and what do you do in them? Business meetings on Discord the last Friday of every month. Launches in Maryland up to once a month and host local launches to demand. In business meetings we discuss our projects, certifications/plans, and more! Members build their rockets on their own and we launch together, talk online for advice and guidance and sharing our work.
- Where are meetings held? Online on Discord and Launches at the Maryland Delaware Rocketry Association and Mount Olive
- Who can join? Open to anyone grades 6 and up.
- What does it cost? Our club has no membership fee! However, you buy and own the rockets you build and fly. This includes costs of the rocket parts and the motors for each flight. You may need to pay membership dues to the National Association of Rocketry and the Maryland Delaware Rocketry Association depending on what you do. These dues shouldn’t be more than $50 a year combined.
- When are meetings and when do we start? We meet on Discord starting around September to discuss and work through various aspects of the competition. We Design, build, launch, and refine a mid-power rocket until reaching a target altitude. Submit qualification flight scores. Conduct test launches in Mount Olive NJ throughout the winter and spring and qualification flights at MDRA around March/April.
- Where are the finals for TARC? TARC concludes with a weekend launch in Virginia for the top 100 teams. Check out our recap of our trip to Nationals last year!
- Who can join? Anyone grades 6 and up who can make clear and frequent contributions, be active and present at meetings and launches, and be professional when working with teammates and competition officials and everyone else we interact with. Team will be adjusted throughout the year to only have members who meet this conduct.
- What does it cost? In the past, TARC has been completely funded by the families on the team, covering their own travel expenses and splitting the bill of rocket parts (~$1k). We currently do not have sponsors for our TARC team, but it’s something we’re open to.
- When are meetings and when do we start? Schedule meets as needed, typically meet at least once a week on Discord, and work independently. Our SLI team is the only currently active part of our club, working on recruiting and team prep for the coming season. In August, the competition season begins and we will be working constantly until May. Historically, expect to spend a minimum of 300 hours of work each year on competition teams.
- When do we start? Our SLI team will start doing pre-competition work over the Summer, meeting in person at launches or other events so everyone can get to know each other and find their place in the team.
- Where are the meetings? Meet virtually for most work, meet in Morristown or Califon for rocket builds and other in-person work. Conduct launches at the Maryland Delaware Rocketry Association (MDRA).
- What’s the final Competition? SLI concludes with a final launch and week of activities in Huntsville, Alabama, hosted by NASA’s Marshal Spaceflight Center in April. Check out our recap of our most recent trip to Huntsville!
- Who can join? Anyone grades 6 and up who can make clear and frequent contributions, be active and present at meetings and launches, be able to put in the hours of work necessary and be professional when working with teammates, competition officials, NASA employees, and everyone else we interact with. We’re looking ideally for people with experience and knowledge to be able to mentor younger members, right now. If there’s enough interest, we’ll be able to bring a lot more people in. Team will be adjusted throughout the year to only have members who meet this conduct.
- What does it cost? In the past we have been able to fully fund the core parts of our competition through our wonderful Sponsors. However, as we grow our team, there is no guarantee we will be able to cover travel costs for everyone, let alone fully.
How often and where do our competition teams meet?
Our competition teams schedule meets as needed, and very often. We typically meet a minimum of once a week on Discord and members work independently on their project area. Throughout the competition season, there are many milestones and deadlines that work has to be finished for, so there are frequently crunches to get items done. Historically we expect to spend a minimum of 300 hours of work each year on competition teams.
While most of our work is best done virtually (where everyone is at a computer and can access our documents and the wealths of resources we work with), we will also meet in Morristown or Califon for rocket builds and other work we need to do in person, and we conduct our launches in Maryland with the Maryland Delaware Rocketry Association (MDRA – Maryland Delaware Rocketry Association – Freedom to Fly (mdrocketry.org). Finally, both competitions conclude with a trip to a final launch, for SLI its a week in Huntsville Alabama, and for TARC it’s a weekend in Virginia.
TARC or SLI?
The American Rocketry Challenge (TARC) and the NASA Student Launch Initiative (SLI) are both rocket competitions, but with different levels of complexity and challenge. SLI is designed for university-level teams, and demands a high standard of quality and professionalism. TARC, on the other hand, is geared towards middle and high school teams and is simpler in nature. However, TARC is more competitive, with over 750 teams participating each year.
To qualify for SLI, high school teams must place in the top 25 in TARC. The SLI competition concludes with a final launch in Huntsville, Alabama, hosted by NASA’s Marshal Spaceflight Center. Test launches for SLI take place at MDRA, almost monthly from November to March. Please see the NASA SLI documentation from our past year to get a feel for the level of this competition.
For TARC, teams must design, build, launch, and refine a mid-power rocket to reach a target altitude as closely and consistently as possible. If a team is in the top 100, they qualify to fly at the nationals in Virginia, with the goal of achieving a top 25 placing to continue to do SLI each year. TARC test launches occur in Mount Olive NJ throughout the winter and spring, with qualification flights at MDRA around March/April.
Both competitions offer unique experiences and require different skill sets, with SLI demanding teamwork and a wider range of skills, while TARC is suited for those who want to excel at rocketry.
Who can join our competition teams?
Our teams can accept anyone grades 6 and up (The minimum age to register in the competitions). However, we are looking for individuals who are able to make clear and frequent contributions, work professionally with their teammates, competition officials, NASA staff, and all others we interact with. While the competition is geared towards more senior members, we strongly believe in preparing our younger members to become future leaders. We are currently working on developing a mentoring structure for younger members, but as a newer team, we are not able to accommodate everyone yet.
It is important to note that participating in these competitions requires a significant time and travel commitment, at up to 300 hours per season. We want to ensure that all team members are aware of this commitment and are willing and able to make the necessary arrangements to fulfill it. There may also be expenses associated with travel that we aren’t able to pay for.
On the contrary, our club is open to anyone in grades 6 and up and we have monthly business meetings on Discord. We attend launches in Maryland about once a month and host local launches as needed. Members generally build their own rockets outside of regular club meetings. We provide guidance and support during launches and our business meetings. We offer advice and help to ensure everyone can participate. Any member can attend the Maryland launches, regardless of whether the whole club is present.
Check out our social media pages and gallery here: Gallery – Morris County 4-H ResistoJets Rocketry Club (nj4h.space)
ResistoJets Rocketry | Facebook https://youtube.com/@morriscounty4-hyt812
NASA Student Launch 2022-2023 Documentation
384 Pages of technical reports produced by our team in response to the NASA Student Launch 2022-2023 Request for proposals and subsequent work. Check out the requirements set forth for this year’s competition: https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/atoms/files/2023_slhandbook_508.pdf