Bethel’s Rocket Club Wins Midwest Rocketry Competition Second Year in a Row

Though Rocket Club at Bethel has been around for many years, it was revived in fall 2021 by a handful of freshmen students. Last spring, the club picked up its second consecutive win, coming in ahead of the University of Minnesota and Virginia Tech.

By Marcus Dip Silas S'25

October 19, 2023 | 2 p.m.

Rocket Club Group Photo

Members of Bethel's Rocket Club posing together for a group photograph.

Bethel led the top placement of teams in the 2022-23 Midwest High Power Rocketry Competition for the second year in a row this year. Ben Teigland '25 is one of the proud founding members of the current edition of Rocket Club at Bethel, alongside Alec Braun '25 and Nathan Engman '25. Teigland’s responsibility was to design and assemble the on-board electronics, building a system that could gather multiple readings like acceleration, rotation, GPS, and pressure.

When he heard the results of the competition, Teigland felt both proud and relieved. He says that returning members Anabelle Linson '26 and Max Huberty '27 boosted the accomplishments of the club at the competition “Since we won last year, we had a lot of confidence going into this year. I felt we were established as successful engineers of high-powered rockets, and we proved that with the number of safe flights we got on competition day,” Teigland says. Bethel’s Rocket club launched the most flights as a team, accounting for almost half of the total flights on competition day.

As for his feeling of relief, Teigland says that he is glad that the expectations new members had were not disappointed. “I was really hoping our new members could get the opportunity to feel what we experienced in our first year.”

"The whole team worked incredibly hard, and our hard work paid off."

— Ben Teigland
A group inspecting rocket

Engman and his teammates inspecting a rocket during pre-launch.

Adding new members to the team has made it possible for the club to achieve more in a shorter amount of time. The club welcomed Connor Bertram '26 and Kyle Melby '26 this year. Keith Stein is the professor of physics and faculty advisor for the club. He is hopeful that the club can raise additional support to advance the High Power Rocketry certification levels of members. “Over the past year, we’ve had several team members who achieved level 1 and level 2 certification. We’re hoping that we can add more to our numbers at the club and take our team to the next level over a two-year period,” Stein says. Stein also credits Alyssa Kontak for providing valuable support to the team in her role as Bethel’s liaison for NASA’s Minnesota Space Grant Consortium.

According to Teigland, the goal is to expand beyond the Midwest and participate in national competitions. “It’s about to be a lot more work,” Teigland says. The team has its sights on the NASA Student Launch in Alabama and the Spaceport America Competition in New Mexico.

“I feel we're creating something very special here at Bethel, and we have a willing group of people who are ready to nurture it.”

— Ben Teigland

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