International Rocket Champions Introduce “Nemesis 2” to Secretary Duncan

Official Department of Education Photo by Leslie Williams

“I feel smarter just being in the same room as them,” said Secretary Duncan earlier this week when he met with the winning team of the Aerospace Industries Association’s 2011 Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC). The four winning students from the Heath Side Boys Rocketry Club had their winning rocket in hand as they met with the Secretary Duncan while visiting Washington to commemorate the 10th anniversary of National Aerospace Week.

Secretary Duncan with the American Rocketry Challenge Champions (Official Department of Education Photo by Leslie Williams)

The winning team of John Easum, Michael Gerritsen, Landon Fisher, and Colt McNally all came from Rockwall-Heath High School in Heath, Texas. After winning the 2011 TARC, Raytheon Corporation sent the team to compete in the 2011 Paris Airshow where they took home the honor of being international champions by beating out teams from the United Kingdom and France.

The students, some of whom started competing in the TARC as 8th graders, shared their experience with the Secretary, who praised their persistence and dedication to the competition. Following the meeting, Secretary Duncan had the opportunity to pose for pictures with the winning team and even “Nemesis 2”, the rocket that won the 2011 competition.

Click here for resources for teachers on rockets from

Joshua Pollack
Office of the Deputy Secretary


  1. Good to see something good coming out of Washington for a change. Now change and education and make math, science and technology required for those who want to move toward those programs.

    • Paul I manage the Team America Rocketry Challenge and we see these programs as a way for students to move towards the math, science, and technology fields. Consider sponsoring a team in your community!

      • Well said Anne:)

        I’m Landon, the bespectacled team member. TARC was a great experience that has encouraged my entry into STEM fields, without which America would be hard-pressed to be a leader in the forefront of innovation and world affairs. As Anne said Paul, I hope you support or even sponsor such activities in your own community or area!

Comments are closed.