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PLTW Gateway to Tech: Flight and Space

Unit Descriptions


Unit 1:  History of Flight and Space

The study of aerospace engineering is helpful when putting into the context of the history of aerospace. This helps to address misconceptions that can be the result of science fiction movies or programs that look real. For example, some students think that the space shuttle could go to the moon or that people have been to Mars. In this unit, you will gain a greater understanding of the evolution of flight.

Unit 2: Aeronautics

Aeronautics is the study of flight in the atmosphere including design, manufacturing, operations, and maintenance of aircraft and spacecraft. To design an air or spacecraft, engineers must understand the elements of aerodynamics, materials, and structures, and stability and control. In this unit, you will explore these elements through design simulation of airfoils and then apply this to design, build, and test a glider.

Unit 3: Traveling and Living in Space

Space travel and living in space are made possible by engineers, from mechanical engineers, who design the components for spacecraft, to biomedical engineers, who design ways to care for astronauts’ health while traveling in space. Designers need to consider how to meet basic human needs such as air, food, power, water, waste disposal, exercise, and personal cleanliness. In this unit, you will apply your knowledge and skills to explore the demands of space exploration.