Airplanes and Rockets' history & copyright Google search American Modeler Air Trails American Aircraft Modeler Young Men Hobbies Aviation Flying Aces Saturday Evening Post Boys' Life Hobby Distributors Amateur Astronomy Engines & Motors Balsa Densities Silkspan Covering Comics Electronics My Models Model Aircraft Articles Plans Model Boat Articles Plans Model Car Articles Plans Model Train Articles Plans 1941 Crosley 03CB Radio Model helicopter articles & plans Crosswords Model Rocket Articles Plans Restoration Projects Photos Peanuts Collection Model Aircraft Articles Plans Sitemap Homepage Hints and Kinks Amateur Radio Archives of the homepage R/C Modeler Electronics About Airpleans and Rockest, Disclaimer, Terms of Use Model Topics Please Donate to Airplanes and Rockets Parole Plaza, Annapolis, Maryland Hobby Items for Sale Airplanes and Rockets Hero Graphic
Model Aircraft Museum, AMA - Airplanes and Rockets

Drones - Airplanes and Rockets

Plastic Scale Model Kits - Airplanes and Rockets

Rockets Away! More Than 500 Students Participate
in NASA Student Launch Projects Challenge

Rockets Away! More Than 500 Students Participate in 2012 NASA Student Launch Projects Challenge

Specially crafted rockets soared high into the skies April 22 at the 2011-12 NASA Student Launch Projects challenge.

More than 500 students, representing 53 middle schools, high schools, colleges and universities in 28 states, launched rockets of their own design -- complete with working science payloads or engineering payloads -- at Bragg Farms in Toney, Ala.

Students watch a rocket launch during the 2012 Student Launch Projects challenge - Airplanes & Rockets

Students watch a rocket launch during the 2012 Student Launch Projects challenge. (NASA/MSFC/Ray Downward) 

2024 Student Launch: Meet the Teams

The students vied to see whose rocket could come closest to the 1-mile altitude goal and safely return its onboard science payload to Earth. Fifty-one teams took part, though two faced mechanical or technical issues and did not launch. Ten preliminary awards were presented, and the grand prize -- $5,000 from ATK Aerospace Group in Salt Lake City, Utah -- will be awarded May 18 after final post-flight analysis and review are complete. This is the fifth year ATK has sponsored Student Launch Projects.

This year's preliminary awards included:

  • Best Vehicle Design: Utah State University of Logan received the award for the most creative, innovative, safety-conscious rocket design.
  • Best Payload Design: Vanderbilt University of Nashville, Tenn., won the award for the most creative and innovative payload experiment, emphasizing safety and scientific value.
  • Best Web Design: The University of Louisville in Kentucky won the award for the best rocketry website:
  • Science Mission Directorate Payload Award: Mississippi State University in Starkville was honored for having the most creative and innovative payload design, while maximizing safety and science value.
  • Project Review Award: The University of Florida in Gainesville was honored for delivering the best combination of written preliminary design, critical design and flight readiness reviews and formal presentations.
  • Education Engagement Award: Vanderbilt University of Nashville, Tenn., won for best inspiring the study of rocketry and other space-related topics. Mississippi State University in Starkville and the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa received honorable mention.
  • Closest to Altitude Award: The team from Florida A&M University in Tallahassee received the university-level award for coming closest to the specified 1-mile altitude goal. The rocket reached an altitude of 5,270 feet -- just 10 feet off the mark.

    Peer Awards: All rocket teams submitted votes for peer awards in each division. The "Best-Looking Rocket" awards went to Plantation High School Team 2 of Florida and to Alabama A&M University of Huntsville. The "Best Team Spirit" prizes were awarded to Lake Zurich High School of Lake Zurich, Ill., and the University of Hawaii - Windward Community College of Kaneohe.

All prize-winning teams received plaques and participation trophies from ATK and NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., which organizes the yearly challenge.

The final two university division awards -- "Rookie Team of the Year" and "Best Overall Team of the Year" -- will be presented after teams have submitted their post-launch review documentation and science or engineering payload reports, due May 7. NASA and ATK will pick the 2011-12 winner based on those final reports -- plus all the work teams did leading up to launch day.

The annual NASA event celebrates innovative young minds and seeks to inspire them to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Teams designed and built their rockets and experiments starting in the fall of 2011. They maintained websites to document the experience and reached more than 45,000 students at schools and organizations in their communities to share their enthusiasm for rocketry and inspire those students to pursue the study of technical subjects critical to the work of NASA and the nation.

Hundreds of flight enthusiasts flocked to the launch site at Bragg Farms to cheer for the student rocketeers. More than 56,000 viewers also watched live via the streaming video service UStream. Archived launch-day coverage is available at:

NASA held the first student launch event in 2000-01. In response to its growing popularity, NASA expanded it in 2003, creating one division for middle schools and high schools, and in 2006, another for colleges and universities.

The Marshall Center's Academic Affairs Office, part of the Office of Human Capital, manages the rocketry challenge. The project is sponsored by NASA's Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, Science Mission Directorate and the Office of Education, all at NASA Headquarters in Washington. ATK provided corporate sponsorship. The National Association of Rocketry provided technical review and launch support. Bragg Farms has hosted the launch challenge since 2008.

For complete lists of participating students, visit:

Visit NASA Student Launch Projects on Facebook and Twitter:

For more information about NASA education projects, visit:

by Rick Smith and Megan Davidson

NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center



Posted July 1, 2024
(updated from original post on 4/26/2012)

Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) Plans Service - Airplanes and Rockets

About Airplanes & Rockets 

Kirt Blattenberger, Webmaster - Airplanes and RocketsKirt Blattenberger

Carpe Diem! (Seize the Day!)

Even during the busiest times of my life I have endeavored to maintain some form of model building activity. This site has been created to help me chronicle my journey through a lifelong involvement in model aviation, which all began in Mayo, MD ...

Copyright  1996 - 2026
All trademarks, copyrights, patents, and other rights of ownership to images and text used on the Airplanes and Rockets website are hereby acknowledged.

Homepage Archives  |  Modeling News Archives


Kirt Blattenberger


Family Websites:

RF Cafe

Equine Kingdom

Plastic Scale Model Kits - Airplanes and Rockets

Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) - Airplanes and Rockets

Academy of Model Aeronautics

Tower Hobbies logo - Airplanes and Rockets

Tower Hobbies

Horizon Hobby logo - Airplanes and Rockets

Horizon Hobby

Sig Manufacturing - Airplanes and Rockets

Sig Mfg

Brodak Manufacturing - Airplanes and Rockets

Brodak Mfg