Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
Adjust Font Size: Normal Large X-Large

AEM spotlight:

Elementary students visit AEM

James Flaten

A Farnsworth student examines the Minnesat nano-satellite during a trip and tour of the Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics Department

Students from Farnsworth Elementary recently took a detailed tour and viewed the innards of Akerman Hall.
As part of a trip to the University, Farnsworth students viewed several labs, saw current research and learned about possible avenues to pursue during and after college related to aerospace engineering and mechanics.

Professor William Garrard, director of the Minnesota Space Grant Consortium, said the tour aimed to show students from Farnsworth AEM's facilities with the idea of motivating them to consider a career in engineering.

“We have a number of facilities, such as wind tunnels which provide concrete examples of the types of equipment that are used in aerospace engineering.” 

Farnsworth is a K-6 aerospace magnet school located in St. Paul. Aerospace concepts and history are incorporated into all aspects of curricula, allowing students interested in the skies and beyond a strong background in the sciences and writing. In part due to its excellence in aerospace, Farnsworth is also a NASA Explorer school, providing teaching resources, including professional development for teachers in the field of aerospace over summer months. Farnsworth students have also been fortunate to have visits from several NASA astronauts in recent months, like Minnesota's first woman in space Heide Marie Stefanyshyn-Piper and University alumnus Digger Carey.

Students visited AEM’s wind tunnels, Nanosat-5 (run out of the Small Satellites lab), Professor Mettler’s Helicopter lab, and the Dynamics and Control laboratory, featuring Supercavitating boats.

Jill Wall, Aerospace Coordinator for Farnsworth, said it is “essential” that elementary schools connect with higher education.

“As an aerospace school, we want to surround our students with possibilities for their future,” she said. “It is even more important that the kids get to the U and see it as a possibility for furthering their education-in any field they choose.”

The Minnesota Space Grant Consortium offers tours, demonstrations, and teacher training to educators and interested members of the general public.

To learn more about MnSGC, visit


Scenes from the event

Last Modified: Wednesday, 22-Aug-2012 12:47:38 CDT -- this is in International Standard Date and Time Notation