Teacher in Charge at St Mary’s Catholic College, Mr Matt Rolfe, with students Billy Hooper (Year 10), Dmitri Nommensen (Year 10), Jackson Whitney (Year 8), and Mark Thompson (Year 8).and the winning rocket.
Teacher in Charge at St Mary’s Catholic College, Mr Matt Rolfe, with students Billy Hooper (Year 10), Dmitri Nommensen (Year 10), Jackson Whitney (Year 8), and Mark Thompson (Year 8).and the winning rocket. Kirstie McClean

The 'Beef Town Bullet' shoots Casino School to victory

A CASINO high school soared above the rest when they won the Australian Youth Rocketry Challenge last Saturday near Jimboomba, Queensland.

St Mary's Catholic College's team of six students known as the 'St Mary's Stingers' took their rocket "Beef Town Bullet' to victory when they beat 16 other finalists.

The registered team consisted of Dmitri Nommensen (Year 10), Billy Hooper (Year 10), Jackson Whitney (Year 8), Mark Thompson (Year 8), Henry Campbell and Cody Merenda (Year 12).

Thirty students at the college helped in the research, preparation and development of the rockets and practice launches, as part of the school's Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics program (STEM).

The challenge was to build and fire a rocket to reach a predetermined height and get it back on the ground at a certain time, all with the payload of a raw egg.

This year the rocket had to reach a height of 850ft within 50 seconds.

Teacher in charge of the STEM program at St Mary's Catholic College, Matt Rolfe said their secret was in the mathematics of not just creating enough power but also the appropriate amount of drag.

"We used a two part separation system, which when hit with the motor back-charge, blew the payload section clear of the rocket," Mr Rolfe said.

"We then gave this section of the rocket its own parachute, allowing us to more accurately control its rate of descent."

"We hit a height of 830 ft with a time of 53 seconds which gave us a score of 50. Second place received a score of 220, giving us a winning margin of 170 points."

St Mary's Catholic College was the first school to win the prestigious title of National Champions in their first year of competition.

Principal Aaron Beach said he was incredibly proud of the students achievement.

"Coming from such a small community with limited funding, our students continue to achieve great things when they pursue their dreams," Mr Beach said.

"The standard of the competition made the win even more special. Beating aerospace specialist schools demonstrates the knowledge and skills of our students," Mr Beach said.



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