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All-girl rocketry club proves ster­eotypes wrong

3 freshman to compete in national rocketry comp­etition


SAN ANTONIO - When it comes to math and science, women continue to make great strides in what was once a male-dominated field. 

One group of Roosevelt High School girls has proved that by earning national recognition with some high-flying rockets.

"Quite frankly, it still hasn’t set in,” said Isabella Leighton.

"We got second in the top 24, which was really exciting,” added Ruth Long.

Leighton, along with Long, and their fellow classmate Dalia Castillo won second place in the Team America Rocketry Challenge, last year, as middle school students.  

It was a feat that they wanted to repeat.

“Not only did we have fun doing the rockets last year, we also wanted to re-enter the competition this year,” said Castillo.

In order to do that, the trio had to first start a rocketry program at Roosevelt High School, where they now attend as freshman. 

The girls are part of the school’s Engineering Technical Academy. After going through all the proper channels, they started the club and went right to building a rocket for this year's competition.

“Anytime we could get together, we’ve used every single moment to try to work on the rocket trying to make it as perfect as we can,” said Castillo.

The competition will call for the girls to create a rocket that will travel exactly 750 feet high in 48 to 50 seconds, a task calling for extreme precision. It is also a feat requiring math, science and computers.

The trio is a minority, one of only a handful of all-girl groups in the male-dominated competition.

"We always thought the guys would be intimidating or scary, but no, we get along with them fine,” joked Long.

"They say the (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) field is a dominantly male career, and they say that only man can do these things well, and we and the all-girls team have gotten so far in everything,” added Leighton.

The Team America Rocketry challenge is May 11 near Washington D.C. 

Currently, the trio is looking for sponsors or donations to fund their trip.

For a list of recent stories Justin Horne has done, click here.


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