Pre-College Programs
STEM I for Middle School - SPARK

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Introduction to Mechanical Engineering: Design and Experimentation

This course is expected to run but has not yet been scheduled.

Course Description

Do you want to learn what it takes to be an engineer? There are many kinds of engineers; those who specialize in building bridges, designing submarines, or recording high-speed movies of an explosion. It might be daunting to figure out what type of engineer is right for you. Students will actually become familiar with the full range of engineering in this class.

Engineering is about applying scientific knowledge to practical applications through design skills. We believe that the best way to learn about engineering is through actual hands-on projects. Each class will push the scientific concepts to a whole new practical level. Remember “buoyancy” from your science class? You will test this concept by designing a RC submarine from a Nalgene bottle, electrical components, and LEGO propellers. You will learn basic circuitry assembly as well as the basics of hydrodynamics. This will help you design and then build your own submarine. Through a simple force balance analysis, you will also design and build your own straw bridge. Scientific concepts such as stress from loading and structural rigidity will be explained through your bridges and computer simulations. Finally, you will get to build a massive air vortex ring launcher and knock down paper cups at a distance, make huge soap bubbles big enough for you to stand in, and perform a mini wind tunnel experiment to study aerodynamics.

We have specifically designed this course so that you will understand what it takes to one day become an engineer, or rocket scientist! The theme of “science in touch with reality” will be emphasized throughout every class, while we have as much fun as possible! In this course, you will learn that the core concepts of engineering may be applied to a wide range of environments, from underwater, to the sky and beyond.