ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - Some Piedmont Virginia Community College students are now NASA-award winners.

The community college's Rocket Launch Team competed last week in the National Student Launch Competition.

The PVCC team won awards for Rocket Fair Display, as well as Team Spirit, and Best-Looking Rocket. They spent months building a rocket, writing reports, and proposals about their work for the competition.

“The rocket fair is an area where we’re kind of on the same level as everyone else, and we can take our community-college mindset that’s very like out-of-the-box and creative, and we can kind of kick all the other teams’ butts,” said Jesse Oxford, PVCC Rocket Team lead.

Oxford says the rocket launch was also successful, thanks to Boy Scout Troop 17 from Charlottesville, who loaned the PVCC team a part for their rocket. The troop competed in the middle school division, and won first place in four categories: Altitude, Social Media, Best-Looking Rocket, and Best Team Spirit.


04/11/2019 Release from Piedmont Virginia Community College:

(Charlottesville, VA) – The PVCC Student Launch Team placed high in the recent national Student Launch Competition sponsored by NASA. The student team won first place in the Rocket Fair Display Award for the best display, first place in Team Spirit and second place in Best-Looking Rocket.

The annual NASA Student Launch Competition takes place at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Forty-five student teams from 20 states gathered there during the week of April 4 -7 to compete and learn about the latest in rocket launch technology.

“We are very proud of our PVCC students competing at the national level as one of only a few community colleges in a field dominated by four-year institutions,” said Yanina Goddard, PVCC professor of physics. “Their enthusiasm, team spirit, dedication and hard work was recognized with the three awards.”

The NASA Student Launch competition engages college and university teams around the country to design, build and test a rocket and payload while meeting multiple documentation and review milestones with NASA rocketry experts. After eight months of designing, building, testing and launching, the winners of the annual challenge were announced at an awards ceremony on April 6 at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville.

The Piedmont Student Launch Team is a team of students, supported by PVCC faculty, administration and industry professionals. The organization gives students of many disciplines an opportunity to develop technical, professional and team skills essential for success in their future careers. More information about the team can be found on the PVCC website.