WURocketry, the student organization at the McKelvey School of Engineering that takes part in the NASA University Student Launch Initiative, recently won several prizes at the competition’s 2021 award ceremony.

The team won the Rookie Team Award, which honors the top-performing new team in the competition. Formed in 2019, this year marked the team’s first time participating in the launch.

“I am immensely proud of the work my team has done this year,” said Caitlind Walker, a rising senior majoring in electrical engineering and founder of WU Rocketry. “Despite our team being spread across the country, we were able to design, build and test a successful rocket and payload. This year has been truly rewarding by increasing our technical knowledge base and showing us how we can improve our team logistics in the future.”

The team also received second place for STEM Engagement Award. which was presented to the team that best informed other students about rocketry and space-related topics, as well as the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Reusable Launch Vehicle Award, which was presented to the team with the most creative, innovative and well-constructed overall design while maximizing safety and efficiency. As part of the competition, teams are also expected to maintain engaging social media accounts as well as provide outreach and learning opportunities to a minimum of 200 K-12 students.

“Being the first-place rookie team has inspired and motivated us to improve upon our design, reach more students through STEM engagement and be even more successful next year,” Walker said.

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