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Course Instructor

Instructor Bio

Introduction to Design & Engineering - via Bicycles

Engineering is the closest thing to magic that exists in the world!

Elon Musk (SpaceX, Tesla, The Boring Company, Neuralink, OpenAI)


May 8-21, 2022

For Ei ATS Gold/ Silver/ Bronze Scholars (or equivalent);

Entering Grades 8, 9, 10 in 2022

Engineers make all kinds of cool things which make our lives better - from everyday objects like bicycles and smartphones, to racing cars, hyperloops, and spaceships! Using the everyday bicycle as an example, this course provides a carefully curated introduction to the various aspects of engineering and design involved in making great products. 

Some of these important aspects are-

  • Scientific knowledge- understanding the physics of forces, how the load gets distributed in the bicycle frame, the ‘mechanical advantage’ of a gear system are examples of this.

  • Functional design- the use of a bicycle in different contexts results in different requirements that the engineer/ designer has to satisfy. For example, a commuter who takes his cycle on to a train everyday needs a compact or maybe a foldable cycle, whereas a racer is much more concerned about speed and aerodynamics. Also, the same functional requirement can be met through different design approaches.

  • Prototyping and testing- engineering ideas are refined through building and testing prototypes which allow us to predict how well the idea will work.

  • Use of technologies- new technologies can offer new possibilities like carbon fibres that provide both strength and are lightweight. Electronic sensors and actuators can switch on the headlights in dim conditions or change gears automatically based on conditions.

In this very hands-on course, students will:

  • Understand how a bicycle works by taking apart parts and assembling it together; learn to do some simple repairs

  • Learn some of the physics involved in the working of a bicycle

  • Work on design challenges and also build and test some prototypes

  • Learn about the history of bicycle design and understand how and why changes happened at different points of time

  • Do a couple of small projects with electronic sensors and actuators on a bicycle, demonstrating the impact of new tech.

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