Exploring the future at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute MYP student Christos Christoforidis Attends the Aerospace Engineering Summer Programme

Christos Christoforidis (MYP5) preparing to join the IB DP in September told us he was eager to explore the field of aerospace engineering…so we started our own exploration and proposed he apply to the Aerospace Engineering Summer Program at the renowned Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York this July. Christos was one of 80 students who are accepted from among the hundreds that apply to attend every summer.

The programme took place at RPI’s top-tier research labs where students learned to design, build, and test two model airplanes utilizing their newly acquired aeronautical engineering knowledge. Christos returned home full of new experiences, greater knowledge and many new friends from around the world as he reported back, “I just came back from RPI! It was an amazing experience! In the morning, we did more theoretical classes on aerodynamics and how physics concepts are applied to aircraft design, especially those associated with aerodynamics. The afternoons we spent time in the labs to apply we learnt through experiments in the wind tunnel and ultimately we designed and made our own aircraft that was actually flew!

I remembered what Mr. Papachristopoulos told us throughout the school year, how we should investigate a phenomenon and that after you come up with a research question, you develop a hypothesis, then do the experiments and in the end you come with a conclusion whether your hypothesis was right or wrong and you have to evaluate the whole process. Besides the classes and lab work, the social environment was great. I made new friends especially from the US but also from Indonesia! Every person I met was open minded and made me feel very welcome which then made me feel comfortable to broaden my horizons as well. I found out that RPI has one of the strongest aerospace engineering departments in the world and that’s why they cooperate with NASA and Boeing. Overall, I had a great time there and now I feel certain about what I want to study and follow my dreams.”

Well done, Christos – the CGS family is very proud of you and we wish you all the best in your IB Diploma Programme this September!

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