By Andrew Thompson ‘19
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! Oh, wait it is a plane. Brother Rice’s engineering program has introduced its third year engineering course: Aerospace Engineering.
Rice’s engineering program is in its third official year, and its first class of third year engineers graduate this year. Engineering classes are available through application at the end of a student’s freshman year and is a three year commitment with class starting one’s sophomore year. Sophomores take Introduction to Engineering Design, juniors take Principles of Engineering, and Seniors take Aerospace Engineering.
This intellectually stimulating class is taught by Mr. Mostyn through the PLTW (Project Lead The Way) curriculum. PLTW is a nationally recognized engineering non-profit organization that creates curriculum for high school engineering students.
What is aerospace engineering? It is a combination of aeronautical and astronautical engineering and deals with physics of flight and the fundamentals of designing and testing atmospheric and space crafts.
Why aerospace engineering? “We thought the aerospace class would be more interesting, more fun, and would also set us apart from other schools,” said Mr. Mostyn.
Mr. Mostyn’s enthusiasm for engineering and his passion for the concept of flight infects his senior class of aerospace engineers. Senior Ciarán Sheridan said, “Aerospace Engineering has been my favorite class at Rice because it is very unique, a lot more hands-on, and has a lot more group activities. This is a great class to take if you are interested in anything engineering or plane related.”
TGIF! Thank God it’s Flyday! Every Friday the aerospace engineering class flies plane simulators on the computers with a joystick to apply aeronautical concepts they learn in class. Assigned challenging missions, students must fly with multiple planes in ideal and coarse weather conditions and navigate to different airports around the country.
Students are currently working on designing their own glider and are applying concepts they have learned in class, concepts such as coefficient of lift and drag, center of gravity, and other components like a planes ailerons and horizontal stabilizers.
The class is only a few weeks in and has already made a huge impact on students. “I think without a doubt it has at least influenced me to look into the occupation more and look into where I can get involved with anything that flies and with anything in the engineering sector of any school,” said senior Pat Hynes.
If you are a freshman who is interested in engineering, see Mr. Mostyn or Mr. Gamboa for more details on the program or a specific class.