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SPARK - Science for Middle School

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Engineering and Design: Fluid Mechanics from Underwater to the Sky - Senior SPARK

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

Course Description

Have you ever wondered how airplanes and submarines use fluids like water and air to move? What physical principles and design skills do you need to know to design them to be more efficient? These questions will be tackled through exciting hands-on-projects. So beware: for this course you will not only need an intelligent brain but also skillful hands! Each class will be an ultimate challenge to prove your potential to become a scientific thinker as well as a competent engineer.

Remember “buoyancy” from your science class? You will test this concept at a whole new level by designing a RC submarine from a Nalgene bottle, parts from a RC car, 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. You will also participate in exciting competitions. Likewise, you will investigate the concept of surface tension by building a water strider robot from carbon fiber rods and a pager motor. You will also study whether the same physics can be applied to enable human to “walk” on water if we would have enough long and slender legs. 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 the course so that you can someday become an engineer and a real rocket scientist. The theme of “science in touch with reality” will be emphasized throughout every class, while having as much fun as possible. In this course, you will learn that the core concepts in fluid mechanics can be applied to lots of environments, ranging from underwater to the sky, and beyond to scales even as large our solar system or galaxies.

*This Senior SPARK course is designed for students currently in 8th grade (entering 9th grade Fall 2014). Younger students are encouraged to register for our Junior SPARK courses.