Model aviators help Forsyth rocketeers blast off

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FORSYTH COUNTY - Rockets have always captured imaginations. Thanks to local organizations and educators, rockets can now propel the educations of students. 

Creekview High School educators and members of the Georgia Model Aviators (GMA) Tim Smyrl and Todd Sharrock happen to be sponsors of the school’s aeronautics team. Since they needed a nice facility to launch rockets, they realized the GMA facility in North Forsyth County would be perfect. 

“It’s a great field and we definitely don’t have to worry about losing rockets,” he said. 

The aeronautics team builds rockets from scratch to compete in national competitions. Sharrock said they have certain guidelines in the competitions. 

“This year, we have to send an egg in the payload section up 825 feet and have it descend in 45 seconds with streamers,” he said. “We can’t use parachutes.”

Sharrock said every launch presents challenges. 

“It can be difficult,” he said. “There are different variables to deal with every time we launch.”

They submit their scores to the Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC). If those scores land in the top 100, the teams get to travel to Washington to compete for thousands of dollars in scholarships. 

Sharrock said the GMA has been a great supporter of the aeronautics program. 

“They presented us with a donation of $500 at the beginning of the year to help us get our feet off the ground,” he said. 

For more information, visit www.rocketcontest.org.

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