From tiny airplanes delivering packages to sending humans to Mars, today is an exciting time for everything related to Aerospace Engineering! The Aerospace GAMES camp provides young women with the opportunity to explore aerospace engineering through numerous hands-on projects and demonstrations, including a field trip to the local airport where the campers will have the opportunity to take an actual flight in a small aircraft operated by the Institute of Aviation. Utilizing individual and team activities, participants will investigate various aspects of this discipline comprising flight mechanics, aerodynamics, aerospace structures, orbital mechanics, and propulsion systems and apply them to aircraft and spacecraft design. These topics will help the students answer questions such as:
- What keeps airplanes in the air during a flight?
- How are composite materials used to improve aircraft efficiency?
- What is needed to launch people and satellites into space?
- How do satellites stay in orbit around the Earth?
Additionally, each camper will design and build a model boost glider and a model payload rocket throughout the week. As the camp finale, all of the participants will launch their models and observe which designs performed the best.
The Aerospace Engineering faculty coordinator for the camp is Dr. Brian Woodard who serves as the Director of Undergraduate Programs in Aerospace Engineering. He organizes several summer outreach programs and developed the curriculum for the Aerospace GAMES camp. Dr. Woodard earned his Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Illinois where he studied high-energy chemical lasers. His current research interests include engineering education and aircraft icing aerodynamics.