Jet Set

05.10.133:30 PM ET

Girls Ready to Rocket

Though few in numbers, they’re taking on the Team America Rocketry Challenge.

Building a rocket ship has become as ubiquitous a high-school science project as making an erupting volcano (though rocket science is a bit more challenging). Still, it hasn’t crossed the gender divide: in this year’s Team America Rocketry Challenge, only five of the 100 groups are all-female. These teens are eager to prove they can build a rocket that will “travel 750 feet in the air within 48 to 50 seconds,” gently enough that a raw egg placed on the inside will not break. Some can afford to make it to the competition on their own dime, while some need subsidizing from their schools or outside programs. But all are confident: “When I was in elementary school, it was a little intimidating,” says one student, “But now it's like, ‘Ha, we can beat you.’”