University of Southern California The USC Andrew and Erna Viterbi School of Engineering Pre-College Summer Programs - Student Portfolios
Flight

Essential Questions

  • What are the four components of flight?
  • What are the prevailing theories on lift?
  • What is the primary difference between an airplane and a rocket?
  • How does Newton’s 3rd law apply to thrust?
 Students will be able to answer the following questions:
  1. What is the optimal ratio of fin size to cone size?
  2. What are the optimal shapes for cones and fins?
  3. How does aspect ratio affect drag and lift?
  4. How does the dihedral angle affect stability?
 
Students should be able to:
  • Determine (physically) a glider’s
  • Center of pressure
  • Center of gravity
  • Aspect Ratio
  • Dihedral angle
  • Calculate a glider’s
    • Center of pressure
    • Center of gravity
  • Determine (physically) a rocket’s
    • Center of pressure
    • Center of gravity
  • Calculate a rocket’s
    • Center of pressure

Students will know:

  1. A rocket’s center of pressure must be below the center of gravity for the rocket to be stable.
  2. The different purposes of wings and fins
  3. The power considerations of an amphibious vehicle
  4. How rotational inertia and angular momentum affect helicopter flight
  5. An airplane’s center of pressure must be behind center of gravity for the airplane to be stable.

Airplane

Design, build and demonstrate a remote control airplane with elevators and rudder capable of taking off, flying and landing

 
Rockets

Students will design, build and launch a single stage model rocket. Students will first learn about the components of rocket flight through experimentation and simulation.

 
Rocket and Lander

Design, build and launch a space shuttle mounted to a water bottle rocket that uses a digital logic circuit and mechanical device to release shuttle to glide after being launched from a water bottle launcher

 

Prior Projects