Hill Country Middle School currently has 11 instructional modules.

- Applied Physics
- CADD
- Computer Graphics and Animation
- Energy, Power, and Mechanics
- Engineering Bridges
- Flight Technology
- Forces
- Lights and Lasers
- Research and Design
- Rocket Science
- Rocketry and Space

Applied Physics

In this title, students learn about the wonderful forces of nature that they must control and learn to live with to make their lives more enjoyable. Using an air track, students learn about motion by calculating the velocity and acceleration of air track cars using a photogate timer. Students study data transmission using a laser. Students also learn about radio waves, light, and heat and do experiments using mathematics.

CADD

In *CADD*, students use computer-aided drafting, or CAD, software to explore the fundamentals of drafting. Students use CAD software to create multiview drawings of a geometric solid and to complete a set of floor plans. The floor plans are based on standards for architectural drawings.

Computer Graphics and Animation

In *Computer Graphics & Animation*, students learn how the use of computers can enhance products created by professional artists and animators. With the use of a computer and related software, students produce an animated sequence using bendable cartoon figures. Students use a digital camera to capture a picture and create an animated project. Students also explore 3-D animation and create an animated 3-D movie.

Energy, Power, and Mechanics

When students complete *Energy, Power & Mechanics*, they have a basic understanding of energy sources, the principles of power technology, and the concept of mechanical advantage and machines. Students see how fluids can be used with other simple machines. Using educational instruments, students learn the fundamentals of gears, fluid mechanics, and three classes of levers. Students also use a solar hot dog cooker and experience the concept of wind power.

Engineering Bridges

In *Engineering Bridges*, students solve an engineering problem as a team. Their task is to build a balsa wood bridge that will span a space and hold the most weight before breaking. There are certain rules that the students must follow to build their bridges correctly. Students learn the relationships between design, structure, and strength of a bridge. By building a bridge and testing its strength on a structure tester, students learn valuable engineering concepts and principles.

Flight Technology

In *Flight Technology*, students learn the principles of flight. Students use a computer flight simulator to experience piloting an aircraft. Each student evaluates the other and prepares a written critique of his or her partner’s flight. Students are introduced to navigation and plot a course using angular measurement and mathematical computation.

Forces

In *Forces*, students explore forces and how they affect the motion of objects. Students learn to describe and measure the motion of objects by completing distance, time, speed, and velocity measurement activities. Students use examples they already find relevant to learn about various forces. They describe and measure the changing motion of accelerating objects and observe the direction of motion and how radius affects centripetal acceleration.

Lights and Lasers

In *Light & Lasers*, students explore aspects of light and lasers and see how that technology can be used. Students use geometric concepts to divide and reflect a laser beam along a path and to create a security system utilizing the beam. Light is explored and manipulated through experiments that use lenses, prisms, filters, and intensity meters. The data from these experiments is analyzed and interpreted to provide a clear picture of the nature of light.

Research and Deaign

In *Research & Design*, students design, manufacture, and race a model CO_{2}-powered dragster car. Students design their car to meet certain specifications and limitations so that it qualifies as a legal car on race day. They learn the concepts and terms in the design process as well as gain an understanding of lift and drag on an object. After they finish their car, students test it in several ways and predict its performance.

Rocket Science

In *Rocket Science*, students learn about the scientific principles of flight, propulsion, and aerodynamics. Newton’s laws of motion are introduced and explained in practical terms. The history of rocket science is an important concept in understanding the development of rockets and is presented during this title. Students construct a water-fueled Stratoblaster^{®} rocket and launch it as a culminating activity.

Rocketry and Space

In *Rocketry & Space*, students learn about the development of rocketry and the United States space program and its history. The principles of rocket design, propulsion, and certain scientific principles that are fundamental to successful rocket flight are important concepts in this title. Students construct and launch a model rocket as a means of bringing application to the scientific concepts presented.

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