Student Engineering Team Takes Third Place in Rocketry Competition

Team Everyday competed against college and university teams from five states

This past May, Team Everyday, the student engineering team at Inver Hills Community College, took third place in the 2021–2022 NASA Space Grant Midwest High-Power Rocketry Competition, “Return to Flight: Fleet Challenge.”

Team Everyday competed against nine high-power rocketry teams representing colleges and universities from five states: Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, North Dakota, and Wisconsin.

First Place: Bethel University
Second Place: University of Wisconsin–Madison
Third Place: Inver Hills Community College

Highest score was 74.85.  Inver scored 69.32.  Average score was 48.05

The rocketry teams delivered oral presentations to a panel of judges Saturday, May 21, 2022, in Wyoming, Minnesota. The next day at the Tripoli Minnesota Rocketry Club launch field near North Branch, Minnesota, the teams launched their fleets of rockets.

Team Everyday

Joan Carter, EdD, PE, is faculty in the Engineering Fundamentals program at Inver Hills. Joan served as Team Everyday’s faculty advisor. She was very impressed by the team’s performance at the competition.

“There were many aspects of the competition and ways to earn points,” she explained. “The overall idea was to build multiple rockets that differed from each other in as many ways as the team could conceive, while having a uniting theme. Inver’s team was voted ‘Best Core Build’ by their peers—quite the honor. Each team was given the same rocket kit—a ‘core build’—to use as one of their rockets. Our team’s rocket was deemed the best by the other teams.”

Joan pointed out that Kelly Behlen, Team Everyday’s overall lead, organized and led the team through every detail.

“Kelly is a wonderful leader,” Joan added, “but make no mistake, this was a team effort. All seven team members were involved, had active roles, and positively contributed. Everyone had a terrific experience. I am so proud of this team and each of the students.”

“Programs like this are incredibly important,” Kelly said, “Competitions give students the opportunity to shine, and there are definitely a number of my team members who shine brighter than the Sun because of it.”

2022 Space Grant Midwest High-Power Rocketry Team Competitors

  • Inver Hills Community College
  • University of Wisconsin–Madison
  • University of Wisconsin–Platteville
  • Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois
  • University of North Dakota
  • University of Iowa
  • Macalester College
  • Hamlin University
  • Bethel University
  • Normandale Community College

Team Everyday

(front row left to right) Ing Vue, Torri Pressler, Elidana Hailu, Anna Marie Gonzalez
(back row left to right) Kelly Behlen, Ismael Marfo, David Evans
Kelly Behlen: Overall Lead
Anna Marie Gonzalez: Build Captain
Torri Pressler: Communications Officer
David Evans: 3D Printing Lead
Elidana Hailu: Builder
Ismael Marfo: Builder
Ing Vue: Builder

Team Everyday completed learning outreach projects as part of the rocketry competition. The team presented to middle schoolers on campus for MathCounts. Team members talked about their rockets and the NASA Space Grant Midwest High-Power Rocketry Competition. They had the middle school students build paper airplanes during the hands-on portion of the presentation.

As part of competition outreach Team Everyday also presented to Inver Hills students, staff, and faculty at the Engineering Project Showcase.

Team Everyday Outreach gallery

Team Everyday member perspectives

Anna Marie Gonzalez

Anna Marie Gonzalez

Team Everyday Build Captain

Age: 20
Hometown: Trece Martires City, Cavite, Philippines
Current residence: Cottage Grove, Minnesota
Major and degree earning at Inver Hills: Transfer Pathway
Planned Inver graduation date: May 2023
Transfer plans after Inver: Transfer to U of M Twin Cities to pursue Aerospace Engineering
Career plans: I want to be an aerospace engineer, an officer in the U.S. Armed Forces, and to be able travel around the world. For the meantime, I plan to explore more about different kinds of aircraft/spacecraft and potentially learn different languages.

Anna Marie Gonzalez Q & A

What do you like best about working with rockets?
I love the thrill of working on something that can possibly go faster than the speed of sound. As someone who is just starting their engineering path and has not flown a rocket even once, I feel like it is a very ambitious goal. However, being able to see students, like me, create them and being able to work on them myself, I learned that it is in fact attainable with the right people and resources.

What are your responsibilities on your rocketry team?
My responsibilities include making sure that the team is on track for the build of each rocket, ensure that assembly procedures are done properly, and find parachutes that are suitable for the rockets to achieve a safe landing speed.

What was the most interesting thing that happened during the rocket competition?
The whole competition was very eventful for the team. However, my favorite highlight was our Mach 1 flight on the Enceladus. We predicted that it would fly in Mach 1.12, but during the actual launch, the motor failed and it exploded around 2,000 feet AGL (Above Ground Level).

We all thought that Enceladus failed to reach our desired speed. However, a couple of days later, as we were pulling data from our altimeters, it showed that the Enceladus actually reached the speed of Mach 1.77, which is much higher than our prediction.

Torri Pressler

Torri Pressler

Team Everyday Communications Officer

Age: 20
Hometown: Eagan, Minnesota
Current residence: Eagan
Major and degree earning at Inver Hills: Computer Science A.S. Transfer Pathway
Planned Inver graduation date: May 2022
Transfer plans after Inver: My plan is to take a gap year to strengthen my motivation to continue college as well as reaffirm what I want to pursue.
Career plans: My plan is to get a job relating to computer science that focuses more on automation.

Torri Pressler Q & A

What do you like best about working with rockets?
I love how complex they are in terms of their various parts, inner workings, and designs. There was a lot of consideration that went into the building process to ensure a smooth and safe flight for every rocket. Many things could go wrong during a flight, so being able to observe a successful flight gives an incredible sense of relief and accomplishment.

What are your responsibilities on your rocketry team?
As the communications officer, I was in charge of the communication between my team members and mentor to ensure that everyone was up to date on information regarding our progress, deadlines, situation, and planning. I also assisted by getting our necessary funding for the rockets.

What was the most interesting thing that happened during the rocket competition?
The most interesting thing that happened at the competition was when our rockets soared into the sky at blazing speeds. It was a very special moment for me because those rockets were the results of all our effort we put in together as a team for the first time in our lives.

Team Everyday’s Rocketry Oral Presentation

Team Everyday Launch Videos

Good Morning Rocket

Good Afternoon Rocket

Goodnight Rocket

H Class First Flight

Learn more about Engineering Fundamentals at Inver Hills by contacting:

Joan Carter, EdD, PE (MN, IA, CA)
Engineering Faculty
Inver Hills Community College

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