Blast off:Rocket Competition June 6.

More than 80 Rockets to blast off at Annual Rocket Competition Saturday, June 6.

The Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science & Technology (MOST) and the L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science at Syracuse University have teamed up for the 2009 Central New York Rocket Team Challenge. More than 80 rockets will be blasting off Saturday, June 6 beginning at 9 a.m. at Skytop Field on Syracuse University's South Campus. The project is coordinated by MOST's Exhibit Manager Peter Plumley. The public is welcome to observe the launches.

Students will compete in either the middle school division (4th through 8th grade) or the high school division (9th through 12th grade) to design, build and fly a high-power rocket. Teams of four to five students will try to build a rocket that can fly between 200 and 400 meters.

Participating schools reflect the county demographics. Approximately half the teams are drawn from the Syracuse City School District and the remaining teams encompass 15 rural districts.

The teams have received materials, rocket simulation software and training to help them build a rocket capable of lifting an electronic payload, complete with an "eggstronaut." The rockets will carry a video and audio acquisition device to provide real time transmission to the launch site. A high speed digital altimeter will also accompany the rockets to measure peak altitudes.

Students will be judged on the aesthetic look of the rocket, presentation of the finished product, successful flight of the rocket (including recovery of the "eggstronaut" payload), and precision in estimating the peak rocket altitude.

Professional engineers and Syracuse University faculty will judge the designs and present awards to the winning teams. Each member of the top four teams in each division will receive a commemorative medallion and the associated school will received a plaque. All rocket teams will receive a certificate of participation. The top four teams in each division will receive school plaques.

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