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Aeronautical Engineering

Explore the science of aerodynamics as you build aircraft ranging from glider prototypes to high-flying model rockets.

About this Workshop

Campus: Sarah Lawrence College | Rising Grades: 8,9

Aeronautical engineers use scientific inquiry and creative problem-solving to improve the operation of aircraft. Gain a hands-on understanding of concepts like lift, drag, thrust, and flow by taking on a series of engineering challenges: develop rockets that fly straighter longer, calibrate projectiles to hit a distant target, and design streamlined gliders that soar through the air. Build and test original creations over a sequence of launches while observing and analyzing critical moments of failure and success. After regular experimentation, and with some ingenuity, design enhanced aircraft that can travel farther, higher, and faster.


Engineering + Physics in Practice
Using EXPLO’s custom-made trebuchets, explore the laws of projectile physics and consider what factors yield the most impressive launches.

Glider Prototypes
Create a soaring glider using lightweight materials. Then, test your prototype using a wind tunnel and revise your design for optimal lift and extended flight.

Air-Powered Design
Create paper rockets propelled by a short burst of air. Then, test your rocket to identify the best fin placement, nose cone shape, and rocket length for your future designs.

Chemical-Powered Rockets
Create an explosive, high-flying pressurized rocket that will launch into the air by adjusting the fuel ingredient ratios while following the Ideal Gas Law.