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Meyzeek students make national rocketry finals

Published: Jun. 4, 2021 at 10:55 AM EDT|Updated: Jun. 4, 2021 at 9:29 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - “It’s Not Rocket Science” is a phrase you won’t hear around Meyzeek Middle School. That’s because its talented rocketry team is competing in a huge national competition this month following four years of hard work and the dedication of three students who help create the program.

The team of Richard Lian, Vallabh Ramesh, and Himanish Lingamaneni made the top 100 for middle schoolers and high schoolers in the National Rocketry Challenge finals and will compete in mid-June in Dayton, Ohio.

“I was surprised and I was excited,” Ramesh said, “it was a bunch of feelings all at once.”

It’s an especially big leap considering Richard with the support of his dad and other parents started their school’s team just four years ago, with the pandemic taking one of those years away.

“We got more experience from the past two years, Lian said. “We learned from the mistakes we had.”

Explaining why he wanted to get involved, Ramesh said, “The engineering and design of it was pretty cool to me.”

(Story continues below photo)

The Meyzeek Middle School rocketry team - Himanish Lingamaneni, Vallabh Ramesh and Richard Lian.
The Meyzeek Middle School rocketry team - Himanish Lingamaneni, Vallabh Ramesh and Richard Lian.(Source: Matt Cramton)

Blasting off to about 800 feet, it was cool to classmates and Math teacher Matt Cramton too, he jumped on board to assist.

“We started learning about rockets,” Cramton said, “what the rocketry program is and the flight simulations.”

The team dropped eggs in parachutes off roofs first, then they moved up to the Big Four Bridge. Experimenting with weight and speed, they advanced from small rockets to some big ones. Many factors like wind can greatly affect how high the rocket goes and where it ends up. Sometimes the team will launch from the University of Louisville’s Shelby Campus.

“It (the rocket) landed in a construction site once, but the people there were nice enough to give it back to us,” Lingamaneni laughed.

Crampton added, “It’s really been great to watch the kids learn over the years and get to where they are now.”

“It was great to hear that we made nationals,” Lian said, “but you know, I just want to work even harder now to ensure that we can secure a good placement in nationals.”

The competition awards $100,000 in prizes.

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