NCCC Engineering Students Compete in Project Events

New Castle Career Center’s Engineering program is gearing up for a year full of competitions and learning. Several engineering students will be participating in robotic and rocketry team-project events. These events give students the opportunity to compete against teams from all across the country. Projects are student-led, with Engineering instructor Kelly Neal overseeing the projects. 

The robotics team is led by Madison French (NCHS) and includes David Gwinn (NCHS), Bryce Moore (THS), Liam Jester (BRVHS), Isaac Smith (NCHS), Jayden Wargney (BRVHS), and Nokolas Uhler (EHHS). The team will be contending in a For Inspiration and Recognition in Science and Technology (FIRST) technology competition. 

The FIRST contest is designed for students to compete head-to-head by designing, building, and programming a robot to complete a series of tasks. The robot will then contend in an alliance format against other robots. The competition consists of a local, regional, and state championship, finally rounding out at the FIRST World Championship held in the spring. 

The rocketry team is led by Danielle Pugsley (SHS) and includes Justin Hummel (SHS) and Brett Spears (HHS). The team will be participating in The American Rocketry Challenge (TARC), along with 1000 other teams from the United States.

Pugsley worked with Spears during the 2019-20 school year to design and construct a remote-controlled airplane. The airplane has the capability to drop a payload onto a specified target.

For this year’s TARC assignment, thetask is to design a rocket that can carry an egg exactly 800 feet in the air, be deployed, and fall back safely in exactly 43 seconds. Teams receive point deductions if their rocket travels farther, is slower or quicker, or is otherwise off-target. The teams cannot purchase off-the-shelf rocket kits, and are required to design their own rocket from scratch.

“It seems to be my year for the females in the class to take charge,” Neal noted. “This is great to show female leadership in engineering!”

Stay in the know with the competitions the engineering students are participating in by following the New Castle Career Center on Facebook. For more information on the programs offered by the NCCC, visit