Rockwall-Heath School from USA Is 2011 International Schools Rocket Champion

Worksop College from the UK second & Collège Léonard de Vinci-St Aubin from France in third

Le Bourget, Paris, FRANCE: The 2011 Paris Airshow played host today (Friday) to the annual international schools rocketry challenge between the national champions of France, the United Kingdom and the United States. The contest encourages students to prepare for careers in the aerospace industry, which is working to boost the numbers of students with science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills.

Teams have to design, construct and successfully launch a rocket, carrying one raw medium size hen's egg to an altitude of 750 feet (229 metres) with a flight time between 40-45 seconds, then return the egg and altimeter payload section safely and undamaged to earth, using only a 15 inch (38cm) parachute. The challenge provides student teams of 3 to 5 members, aged 11-18yrs a realistic experience in designing a flying aerospace vehicle that meets a specified set of mission and performance requirements. Students have to work together in teams, just as aerospace engineers do. It is not intended to be easy, but it is well within the capabilities of the students who have a good background in science and mathematics and craftsmanship skills.

This year's winners were ROCKWALL-HEATH school from USA with a score of 5, representing a height of 745 feet (227 meters) and a duration of 43.15 seconds. A perfect score would be 0.

The schools taking part in today's international rocketry challenge final were:

o Newly-crowned French national winners from earlier this week (

o UK champions Worksop College (see

o US national finals winners Rockwall-Heath High School from Heath, Texas (see

The USA were reigning international champions following their triumph at the 2010 Farnborough International Airshow, the first time that the competition had been expanded to include French participation. Winners in 2008 and 2009 were from the UK.

AIA President and CEO Marion C. Blakey said:

"We congratulate Rockwall-Heath School on winning the competition. The effort and enthusiasm all three teams brought to the contest is a great sign for the future workforce of our global industry."

Graham Chisnall, Managing Director of Aerospace and Operations of A|D|S, said:

"Congratulations go to today's winners for their triumph and well done also to the runner-up teams. A great deal of work has gone into making today such a success not only by the students but also by the national organisers and by GIFAS as part of the airshow. Our industry's future is in good hands if these young people are anything to go by. I look forward to welcoming the competitors to the 2012 Farnborough International Airshow for the next international finals, which will be a good global competition to act as a curtain-raiser for the London Olympics."

Guy Rupied, Managing Director of GIFAS, said:

"Many congratulations to the US winners of this international competition that we have been pleased and proud to organize as part of the Paris Air Show. I am certain that the media impact of this event will help to make science in general and the space activities in particular, more attractive to a wide audience of young people. I wish this educational programme, and its organizers-particularly Planète Sciences in France- every success."

Sponsors of the event are:

o France - SAFRAN

o UK - Platinum sponsor, Chemring Group PLC & Gold sponsor Rolls-Royce PLC.

o US - Platinum sponsor, Raytheon.

o France contact: Patrick Guérin, GIFAS - Telephone: +33 1 44 43 17 50 / Email:

o USA contact: Alexis Allen, AIA - Telephone: +1 703 358 1075 / Cell: +1 703 362 0682 / Email:

o UK contact: Matthew Knowles, A|D|S - Telephone: +44 20 7091 4538 / Mobile: +44 7595 863 749 / Email: A|D|S is also on Twitter at

Daniel N. Stohr

Communications Coordinator & Manager of Publications

Aerospace Industries Association

1000 Wilson Blvd., Suite 1700

Arlington, Virginia 22209 USA

T: 703-358-1078 F: 703-358-1012

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