Four students from Creekview High School in Canton, Ga., competed against the world’s best rocketry teams and took first place at the International Rocketry Challenge (IRC) at the Farnborough International Airshow. Sponsored by The Raytheon Company, the team represented the United States against teams from the United Kingdom, France and Japan over two days, July 19-20. 


“It still doesn’t feel real,” said Creekview team captain Brayden Dodge. “It’s been four years in the making to get here; working all year long, every Friday after school to make our rocket the best it can be. Today’s result shows we did a fine job of that.”


The Creekview team includes Dodge, 18; Kennedy Hugo, 17; Aiden McChesney, 17; and Warren Teachworth, 17. As part of the IRC, teams were required to launch a raw hen’s egg to 800 feet and return it to earth safely within 41-43 seconds. In addition to launch requirements, competing teams were also tasked with delivering a presentation explaining their rocket design to a distinguished panel of international aerospace experts, which accounted for 40 percent of their total score.


Creekview High School placed first both in the presentation component and in the rocket launch. 


France’s Lycee Sud Medoc School came in second, the Japanese team from Omiya Technical High School finished third and the U.K.’s Tonbridge School came in fourth.


“This is the most exciting thing we do at AIA, and it’s because of the amazing students who compete every year,” said AIA President and CEO Eric Fanning. “This contest encourages STEM education and shows a pathway to joining our workforce. Congratulations to Creekview High School – today, you’ve made America proud! There’s little doubt that the future of our global industry is in great hands.”


This is the 13th year the Raytheon Company has proudly sponsored Team USA, enabling them to attend an international air show. Raytheon’s support is tied closely to the company’s MathMovesU® initiative that aims to encourage students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).


“Congratulations to all the students who participated in this one-of-a-kind global competition,” said Thomas A. Kennedy, Raytheon Chairman and CEO. “My challenge to you is to take the problem-solving skills you used in the International Rocketry Challenge and apply them to spark innovative solutions throughout your studies and careers. After all, our world needs a new generation of scientists and engineers to discover the breakthrough ideas and technologies of the future.”


The International Rocketry Challenge is the culmination of four separate competitions held annually around the globe: the Team America Rocke
try Challenge (TARC) sponsored by the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) and the National Association of Rocketry (NAR); the United Kingdom Aerospace Youth Rocketry Challenge (UKAYRoC) sponsored by ADS, the UK Aerospace, Defense, Security and Space association; the French Rocketry Challenge sponsored by Groupement des Industries Francaises Aeronautiques et Spatiales (GIFAS), the French aerospace industries association, and Planete Sciences; and the Japanese Rocketry Challenge, sponsored by the Society of Japanese Aerospace Companies (SJAC) and the Japan Association of Rocketry.


Each challenge brings together teams of middle and high school students to design, build and launch model rockets with the goal of inspiring young minds to become engaged in STEM education and aerospace careers.