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Video: Georgetown Teens Win International Rocket Competition

Daniel Kelton, Matthew and Mark Janceck (left to right) won the International Rocketry Competition this morning at Le Bourget Airport in Paris.

Three Georgetown teens have won an international student rocketry competition, beating out two teams from France and the United Kingdom.

This morning at the International Rocketry Challenge, Daniel Kelton and brothers Mark and Matthew Janecka launched their rocket, successfully propelling it to 750 feet in the air within seconds and landing their cargo, a single egg, safely at Le Bourget Airport in Paris. 

Below you can watch the video of their winning launch.

Mark Janeck, 13, told KUT News that his brother Matthew, 17, and East View High School Junior Daniel Kelton had more than 60 test launches to prepare for the national competition late last month, during which they beat 700 teams.

Weather plays a significant factor when attempting to successfully launch a rocket. Mark said they had some of their best launches with temperatures between 60 to 75 degrees. Luckily for them, the weather in Paris hovered at around 64 degrees.

The 6-year-old competition pits the best middle and high school students in the United Kingdom, France and the United States against each other to promote science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs in schools, says Pam Erickson

“These experiences really do turn into a gateway that develop the skills that these kids need to support in an era of global competitiveness,” Erickson said. “Teambuilding, collaboration, innovative thinking, problem solving, they all come into play in this particular competition.”

When speaking to KUT News before the competition, Janeck estimated the team’s chances of winning at 75 percent. He said that they couldn’t have gotten to compete without the support of their community, which helped pay for their expensive test flights.

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