Imaginations Soar at American Rocketry Challenge

Written by: Paul Mcneill, Vp, Industry & Government Relations   |   Posted on: May 19, 2023

Click Bond engaged this year in two ways: It exhibited at the National Finals and honored the finalists by attending the Rockets on the Hill event...

Imaginations Soar at American Rocketry Challenge

Since 2002, the American Rocketry Challenge, the world’s largest student rocketry competition, as engaged nearly 90,000 middle and high school students in model rocketry. Click Bond has sponsored this premiere STEM event for a decade (it was formerly called Team America Rocketry Challenge, or TARC), which is organized by the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA). Click Bond’s sponsorship supports finalists travel to Washington, DC, which helps fuel the competition and inspire our next generation of aerospace innovators!

Click Bond engaged this year in two ways: It exhibited at the National Finals and honored the finalists by attending the Rockets on the Hill event! Paul McNeill, Steve Santos, Wilson Rosado, Janet Hutchins, and Ellie Keene attended these events to represent Click Bond and interact with the students about STEM careers.

During Rockets on the Hill, which took place on Friday, May 19th, 23 teams from around the U.S. joined in a tradeshow-like showcase to present their rockets at a gathering in the U.S. Senate offices on Capitol Hill. Teams practiced communicating the advantages of their technology and how they overcame adversities. They also received encouraging talks from NASA scientists and industry representatives to help prepare them for the competition and their careers.

That event helped ramp up the excitement for the National Fly-offs the next day, Saturday, May 20th, in The Plains, Virginia. Here, Click Bonders ran a display booth in the Exhibitors Tent alongside other sponsors. Janet, Steve, Wilson, and Ellie interacted with the teams, families, and mentors. Attendees at the Click Bond table learned about Click Bond products used on actual rockets! Also, students asked questions about STEM careers and were intrigued to learn about possible internships.

This year’s finals were special because ARC graduate Warren “Woody” Hoberg addressed the finalists from the International Space Station. Hoberg competed in the National Finals of the first-ever ARC in 2003. This past March, he headed to space as the pilot of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-6 mission to the ISS! It was a powerful representation of the strong linkage between the rocketry challenge’s learning and career achievement.

Hardin Valley Academy Team 1 from Knoxville, Tennessee, took home the top prize at the 2023 National Finals and will go on to represent the United States in the International Rocketry Challenge at the Paris Air Show in June 2023! Learn more about the American Rocketry Challenge at

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