By David Wolf ‘19
A big academic advantage at Brother Rice is the interactive learning experience in engineering and other STEM courses.
As Brother Rice’s first cohort of the PLTW engineering reaches its third level of curriculum, with a focus on aerospace engineering. This class focuses heavily on interactive learning, teaching the basics of constructing aeronautical machines. For their first big project, each student in class is constructing a glider.
These gliders must be capable of completing the following missions: using the provided glider launcher, the glider should fly 30 ft in the hallway without hitting the ceiling or walls; and by throwing the glider with your hand, make a field goal on the football field from behind the goal line.
This fun project helps the students learn the basics of air-flow. Student Liam Coughlin said, “Basically, the way the air flows over the tops of the wings provides lift, which causes the glider’s natural lift.”
The first level engineering course is Introduction to Engineering Design which is focused on the techniques of thinking, speaking, and writing like an engineer. The class curriculum includes learning Autocad software and drawing with perspective.
The second year engineering course is Principles of Engineering. This focuses on mechanical and civil engineering by teaching the students how to make simple machines. After learning about the simple machines, the class creates more complex machines ranging from catapults to marble sorters.
Members of the first cohort will earn a STEM diploma upon graduation along with their high school diploma.
Senior Pat McGann said, “This educational advancement helped me decide that I want to be an aerospace engineer in the future.” At the end of the day, this course provides students with so many opportunities to explore fields of engineering that they might want to pursue in the future.