Welcome to the web-based tutorial experience on propulsion, Making a Move: A Brief Introduction to Mechanical and Biological Propulsion. Before beginning, take a brief moment to find out who the tutorial is intended for, what it's about, and how to use it.
WHO: The tutorial is designed for high school juniors and seniors and college freshmen. It assumes a background in algebra, trigonometry, and vectors. The material works well as a supplement to a physics course or an introduction to engineering course, but completion of high school physics is not required to understand the material. For those who have a background in calculus, there are breakouts at appropriate points to illustrate the calculus behind some results.
WHAT: The tutorial breaks the topic of propulsion into three sections: Objective, Principles, and Design. The Objective section discusses the reasons why propulsion is important and introduces key performance parameters relevant for evaluating a propulsion system. The Principles section covers the basic physical principles involved in propulsion. The Design section is the largest and presents several mechanical and biological propulsion systems in order to illustrate different approaches to propulsion. At the end of each section is a quiz. There are also Application Activities (or "Labs" for short) accessible from the home page and navigation bar on the side of the tutorial. The Application Activities are hands-on activities to illustrate and apply the principles presented in the tutorial. As far as possible, both mechanical and biological propulsion systems are treated on equal footing throughout.
HOW: The three sections (Objectives, Principles, and Design) are accessible from the home page or the navigation bar. The Objectives and Principles sections may be completed in any order, but it is best to cover the Design section after completing the other two. The Application Activities can be accessed from the home page or the navigation bar and should be completed last.