Outreach Activities

In honor of François' love of flight, The FXB FVI sponsor programs to get young and old excited about the field of Aerospace Engineering. These programs, run by the Department's Outreach committee, reach into primary and secondary schools, and other community organizations.



Every semester, the Department of Aerospace Engineering hosts Aerospace Day. Aerospace Day, the Department’s biggest outreach event. Student project teams will be showcasing their projects and leading interactive activities with young students, and the Engineering 100 blimp competition and Aero 205 hovercraft competition will be held in the atrium. This is an exciting opportunity to learn more about the Aerospace Department and the opportunities it offers, and to excite visiting students who are interested in aerospace engineering!

Davis Aerospace High School

U-M Aero has been cultivating a relationship with Davis Aerospace High School over the past year with the goal of increasing Davis graduates’ interest in attending a 4-year college after graduation. Department Chair, Dr. Tony Waas, and Outreach Specialist, Kimberly Johnson, are working closely with principal Neal Morrison, to achieve his primary objective of adding engineering to Davis Aerospace’s aviation focused curriculum. Davis’ top 10 students will get a chance to attend the AE285 undergrad seminar this fall and winter in a continued partnership with UM Aero. This seminar exposes juniors and seniors to a diverse set of career options available to them if they were to pursue engineering degrees. Future plans are for U-M grad students and postdocs to teach ENG100, U-M’s intro to engineering course, onsite at Davis Aero to provide continuing exposure to engineering.

Quadcopter Quidditch

Professor Girard hopes to teach the next generation of engineers (and their parents) about the very real science that goes into ensuring that unmanned vehicles are flown safely and efficiently. As Co-Director of UM’s Vehicle Optimization, Dynamics, Control and Autonomy Laboratory, she hopes to “research and develop enabling technologies for controlling advanced and increasingly autonomous vehicles operating in space, air, ground and marine domains” using control theory. But on certain days, she serves as Madam Hooch, the fictional Quidditch coach and referee.


After winning their regional qualifier, Travis Beauchamp, coach of Gladstone FIRST LEGO League Robotics Team reached out to the U-M’s Department of Aerospace Engineering to try and get some additional advice on improvements for their solar oven.

After listening to the Galaxy Bots’ description of their problem and their solution, Aerospace Prof. Jamie Cutler, congratulated the team on their work and he provided improvements and suggestions to the team’s design: insulating the corners of their oven, adding lenses to the front to better focus the sunlight entering the box, and changing the material to something strong and lighter. Before the state competition, the team was able to implement the insulation and lenses Prof. Cutler recommended.