CINCINNATI — Every year, teams across the country travel to compete in the American Rocketry Challenge in Dayton, and one southwest Ohio team is one of 100 finalists selected to compete. 

What You Need To Know

  • Ohio 4-H Rocketry team in West Chester competes in American Rocketry Challenge in Dayton

  • The team has been practicing for months to prepare for the competition

  • One of the biggest challenges the team has had is getting the rocket to reach the target distance

  • The team looks to start teaching other kids about rocketry

​Ryan Cheng is one of the members on the Ohio 4-H Rocketry team in West Chester. He knows the ins and outs of assembling the rockets. 

“There are a lot of components that come into building rockets such as parachutes, using the right motor, the size of everything,” said Cheng. “It’s pretty much all precision-based.”

Srikar Koduru is also a member of the 4-H team. He’s always been passionate about rocketry. 

“I did a rocketry summer camp and that got me super-duper interested in rocketry and then when I was looking around I saw an actual competition and thought it was a cool opportunity to do rocketry,” said Koduru. 

The team is one of 100 finalists in the American Rocketry Challenge in Dayton.

For the past four months, they’ve been practicing for the big day. The rockets have the potential to reach more than 1,000 feet but they have to stay within a certain distance. 

"For the finals, I’m trying to get 775 or 875 [feet] so that we can get to a certain altitude because those are our targets for the finals." 

Koduru said the most challenging part has been getting the rocket to hit the perfect altitude. 

“Although this motor has potential to go very high we try to go off the weights at the top of the nose cone to make sure it weighs down the rocket while it’s going up,” he said. 

The teammates said they are super excited about going up against the competition, and looking forward to pursuing careers in rocketry when they graduate high school. 

“It’s very exciting and it meant something to us this and it is the reason why we’re here today,” said Cheng.