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Rocket team places second in national competition

May 03, 2004|by SCOTT BUTKI

scottb@herald-mail.com

BOONSBORO - A team of seven students who live in the Boonsboro area came in second place in a national rocket competition at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama on Saturday, the team's coach said Sunday.

The teenagers, working with college students, mentors and teachers, were on one of five high school teams from around the United States that were invited to build rockets intended to shoot one mile, or 5,280 feet, into the sky, coach Deborah Mirdamadi said.

On its first attempt, the Boonsboro team's rocket went 4,877 feet into the air, she said.

On the second attempt, it went 4,986 feet, she said.

The team came in second place for its altitude, she said.

The first-place team's rocket traveled about 5,500 feet, she said.

Each team had a different payload in the rocket. The Boonsboro team's payload held a dozen live frog eggs and fruit flies, she said.

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The team also won a prize for having the best science fair, which was on Friday, she said. Employees of the space center and local dignitaries looked at the each school's science fair booth, she said.

Last spring, the Boonsboro High School rocket team won the first national model rocket championship.

The Boonsboro team was one of 100 from across the country in the competition. Each team had one chance to fly a rocket carrying two large hen eggs to precisely 1,500 feet and then parachute the eggs to earth uncracked.

The top 10 teams were asked to participate in the Student Launch Initiative, a contest won by the group with the rocket that comes closest to flying exactly one mile.

The team, with some changes in membership, has been working on that goal since the fall.

The team members are Andrew Tyler Staubs, 16, a junior at the school; Michael Hull, 14, an eighth-grader at Boonsboro Middle School; Ameen Mirdamadi, 16, a junior at Boonsboro High School; Brett Rosenthal, 13, of St. James; Lucas Horst, 14, an eighth-grader at Boonsboro Middle School; Kayvon Mirdamadi, 14, eighth grade, Boonsboro Middle School; and Tommy Jefferies, 15, a 10th-grader at Boonsboro High School.

Their coach and Ameen Mirdamadi, the team leader, said they were pleased by the team's accomplishments.

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