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"Canada can, within a positive friendly atmosphere, ask the Chinese government to resolve the Tibetan situation."

Tibetan kid with team win national rocketry contest, to represent US at international air show

May 24, 2009

By Kalsang Rinchen
May 24, 2009

Dharamsala, May 23 -- A Tibetan American
youngster has achieved a rare feat of winning the
Seventh Annual Team America Rocketry Challenge
(TARC) last Saturday (May 16, 2009) taking on the title of national champion.

Tenzin Sonam, son of Phurbu Tsering and Tsetan
Dolkar, immigrant Tibetans from Madison,
Wisconsin, is a member of a team from Madison
West High School in Madison which had two more
teams qualified among the top 100 teams that
competed in the finals in The Plains, Virginia.

The contest, sponsored by the Aerospace
Industries Association and the National
Association of Rocketry, is designed to encourage
students to consider careers in aerospace.

The contest began last September with a total of
653 from 45 states and the District of Columbia.
About 7,000 middle and high school students took
part in the qualifying rounds but only 100 teams made it to the finals.

The student teams were required to design, build
and launch a model rocket to an altitude of 750
feet with a flight time of 45 seconds and a
raw-egg payload situated horizontally to mimic
the position of an astronaut. The egg had to
return to earth unbroken in order for the launch to qualify.

Tenzin’s team, which will represent the United
States of America at the International Paris Air
Show in June, has won a prize pool of more than
$60,000 to be shared with other top finishers.
The top three teams win $5,000 in scholarship,
and an invitation from NASA to participate in its
Student Launch Initiative, an advanced rocketry program.

Tenzin’s parents said they were proud of their
son’s achievement. "His achievement surely will
be an encouragement for the Tibetan youth to
strive for excellence in their education. As
Tibetans, we believe it’s an honor not just for
us but also for the Tibetan immigrant community in the United States.”

Other members of Tenzin’s team are Jacqui German,
John Schoech and Ben Winokur.
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