"Nearly 5,000 students across the country are gearing up for the Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC), the world's largest rocketry competition. 789 teams of secondary school students from all backgrounds are vying for 100 coveted spots in the TARC national finals held on Saturday, May 14, outside of Washington, D.C. "Over its 13-year history, TARC has emerged as one of the aerospace industry's premier youth outreach and education programs," said AIA President and CEO, David F. Melcher. "We believe the skills students discover and build while participating in this program will propel them to pursue education and careers in STEM fields, specifically in the aerospace industry." To encourage ingenuity, every year participants are tasked with new and different design and flight parameters that are structured to emulate the aerospace industry's design, engineering, and testing processes. This year, teams must place eggs perpendicularly to each other in the body of the rocket, requiring a wider rocket body and innovative egg protection solutions. The rocket must fly to 850 feet and return to Earth safely with its payload intact. The entire flight must last between 44 and 46 seconds."