UNCP’s Rocket Science Takes Off to Compete


The orange and white rocket in the photo were used for testing. The black rocket was used in the last competition. PN Photo/ Ester Sanchez

By: Ester Sanchez, Web Editor

The Rocket Team is an exciting experience that students from any major can participate in. They will be competing in the First Nations Launch National Rocket Competition.

The UNCP page for the newsroom said that the Rocket Team was awarded $5,000 from North Carolina Space Grant and $4,000 from Wisconsin Space Grant to cover travel and other expenses.

The team members Sydney Allen, Alexis Velarde, Mace Velarde, Benjamin Savage, Caleb Locklear, Eric Schwartz, Chynna Eubanks and Micah Ferguson will be traveling to Kansasville, Wisconsin for the competition from April 22-24.

The judges at the FNL competition are people in the industry. Most of the judges for the upcoming event are aerospace engineers; some work Boeing, Spirit AeroSystems and NASA. For the competition, the team has to put together rocket design reports that are to industry speifications.

“Being judged to the same standards as the industry- they’re getting hands-on practice designing and engineering to prepare them for future careers,” Dr. Steven Singletary said.

The Rocket Team is open for anyone regardless of their major. Joining the team can “teach you to work as part of a group and gain hands-on experience with making designs,” Caleb Locklear said.

Alexis Velarde was approached by Singletary when he started looking up rocket competitions as a way to “shoot mini-missiles legally without getting in trouble.”

The rocket team can also be a way to expand your career path.

“There’s a lot going on with NASA right now, it’s a field that’s opening up with a lot of job opportunities. I want to get more people interested in it,” Singletary said.

Anyone that’s interested can email here at steven.singletary@uncp.edu or on Instagram @uncprockets.

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