Leech Lake Tribal College Wins First Place at First Nations Launch High Power Rocket Competition
Six students from Leech Lake Tribal College have won first place at the First Nations Launch High Power Rocket competition in the state of Washington.
The team competed against other tribal colleges and American Indian Science and Engineering Society teams from the United States. The competition is put on by the Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium and each school competing is given $3,000 to build, travel and launch their rocket. Leech Lake Tribal College’s rocket team started to build their rocket in January, and they had to keep tabs on their process.
“Writing reports and doing oral reports and then in the end of April you go over there and you compete with other colleges on launching the rockets, and so there’s a competition parameter that you have to follow throughout,” said Kelley Nipp, mathematics director at Leech Lake Tribal College.
The team built a five-foot tall rocket with a four-inch diameter. At the competition, students had to give a 15 minute presentation on their rocket. During the event, Leech Lake Tribal College launched their rocket twice. Both launches met the guidelines for the competition.
“We had to go between 2,500 and 3,000 ft., and before the launch we had to predict the altitude that what we would hit,” team leader Robert Edman said. “We said it was 2,800 and we went 2,750.”
Leech Lake Tribal College has won awards in the past for the competition, but this is the first time they have won the overall top team award. The team won a trip to Kennedy Space Center in Florida where they’ll get a VIP tour.