Workshop overview

Year level 11-12
Capacity 16-32 students. If you want to bring more students, email
When School days: Monday-Friday
Duration Half day
Where QUT Gardens Point, Science and Engineering Centre

Free (Late cancellation fees apply. Please refer to Terms and Conditions.)

Workshop details

In this workshop students use experimental and analytical tools to develop an understanding of the basic principles behind aerodynamics and lift. Students have a brief introduction to the evolution of aeroplanes before learning how lift is generated; they then collect data using a wind tunnel and variety of aerofoil shapes to see which shape produces the most lift.

The concept of fluid dynamics is illustrated using the wind tunnel simulation on The Cube, where they can experiment with drag force and drag coefficient and see visualisations of air movement over their aerofoils, as well as a truck, F1 racing car and jet plane. MATLAB is used to aid understanding of Integration and students are introduced to the Rectangle Rule, Trapezoidal Rule and Simpsons Rule.

The workshop culminates with students challenged to design the fastest and most efficient plane for Batman to get to Gotham City on a budget!

Topics covered in this workshop:

  • mathematics modelling
  • mathematics analysis
  • principles of flight
  • aerospace engineering.

Book this workshop

You can request a booking for one of these options:

You can also add a 30-minute interactive experience at The Cube to your visit.

All bookings are subject to availability of university spaces and presenters.

We are currently fully booked for Term 1 and Term 2, 2022.

Curriculum links

Essential Mathematics

  • Use metric units of mass, their abbreviations, conversions between them, and appropriate choices of units (ACMEM025)
  • Use spreadsheets to tabulate and graph data (ACMEM041)
  • Calculate speed, distance or time using the formula speed = distance/time (ACMEM086)
  • Use symbols and conventions for the representation of geometric information; for example: point, line, ray, angle, diagonal, edge, curve, face and vertex (ACMEM107)

Mathematical Methods

  • Understand the formula abf(x)dx = F(b)-F(a) and use it to calculate definite integrals (ACMMM131)
  • Calculate the area under a curve (ACMMM132)
  • Calculate the area between curves in simple cases (ACMMM134)
  • Trapezoidal rule for the approximation of a value of a definite integral numerically (QCAA 2019 Syllabus)

Specialist Mathematics

  • Calculate areas between curves determined by functions (ACMSM124)
  • Use numerical integration using technology (ACMSM126)


  • Advances in science understanding in one field can influence other areas of science, technology and engineering (ACSPH011)
  • Models and theories are contested and refined or replaced when new evidence challenges them, or when a new model or theory has greater explanatory power (ACSPH087)
  • Relevant equations relation to Physics curriculum:
    • w=mg
    • F=GMm/r2 and g=F/m=GM/r2

Aerospace Systems (QCAA 2019 Syllabus)

  • Define the forces of lift, weight, thrust and drag and their relationship to each other
  • Explain the theories of generating lift and aerofoils (Newton’s third law and Bernoulli’s principle)
  • Develop ideas for and create various wing shapes to demonstrate an understanding of lift
  • Conduct experiments on common objects to identify forms that generate lift forces

Engineering Technology (QCAA 2019 Syllabus)

  • Define engineering mechanics, engineering statics, engineering dynamics, mass, force and matter
  • Examine Newton’s three laws
  • Recognise common engineering quantities, SI units and symbols.