Fluid Mechanics Through Hovercraft Physics

Course Description

In this course, you will be introduced to the scientific principles of fluid dynamics with the core properties of all fluids. The hovercraft group project will culminate in an obstacle course to test the control and speed of each hovercraft.

Teaching will focus on the properties of fluids, fluid statics, buoyancy and stability; Newtonian fluids & non-Newtonian fluids; Surface tension; Bernoulli’s equation, the continuity equation, and conservation equations; Dimensional analysis, Re & flow over immersed bodies (drag and lift, aerodynamics, Mach number, etc.); Motion in low Reynolds number (bacteria swimming etc.); and Covid related topics (fluid particle transport in air, etc).

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:
• understand fluid properties (i.e. density, specific weight, specific gravity, viscosity) using various systems of units, and evaluate hydrostatic forces on surfaces;
• apply the laws of conservation of mass, linear momentum, and angular momentum to fluid mechanics applications;
• apply the Bernoulli equation to understand various phenomena in everyday life;
• understand how scaling laws work in scientific research and in everyday life (e.g. why we need to stay socially distant to reduce virus transmission);

Using a design approach, you will develop skills working in a team and will be able to apply fluid mechanics concepts as they design and build a hovercraft. More broadly, this course will introduce you to the field of fluid mechanics, and will inform future study in engineering.

On-Campus Supplemental Fee: $100


There are no prerequisites for this class, although math through algebra would be very helpful.


Two Sections Available to Choose From:

Online sections of Pre-College courses are offered in one of the following modalities: Asynchronous, Mostly asynchronous, or Blended. Please review full information regarding the experience here.

Dates: June 20, 2022 - July 01, 2022
Duration: 2 Weeks
Meeting Times: M-F 12:15P-3:05P
Status: Closed
Format: On-Campus
Instructor(s): Avik Mahata
Course Number: 10053

Dates: July 11, 2022 - July 22, 2022
Duration: 2 Weeks
Meeting Times: M-F 8:30A-11:20A
Status: Closed
Format: On-Campus
Instructor(s): Yunxing Su
Course Number: 10378