What is ARC?

Calling Young Innovators in Aerospace!

Envisioned and led by Professor Hugh Liu of the Institute for Aerospace Studies of the University of Toronto, ARC is a junior researcher program that provides young inspired scientists and engineers with early opportunities to be involved in research and design. A selected group of high school students will work on projects and research topics evolving around the sciences of Aerial Robotics. The junior researchers will work with Professor Liu, graduate, and undergraduate students to hone their research skills by analyzing a project or research goal, assessing the required subject areas, and developing/verifying hypotheses and engineering designs. They will gain career-inspiring experience as future aerospace scientists and engineers.

The junior research program differentiates itself from traditional extracurricular programs in several key ways:

  1. The goal is to give students an experience of working like a professional researcher in the scientific community.
  2. The resulting work will be open-ended and up to the students’ discretion. There are no incorrect answers.
  3. It is NOT a design competition aimed at delivering specific results under a structured development process. We focus on creative ideas and critical thinking through a scientific approach
  4. It is NOT an advanced subject course aimed at obtaining specific knowledge or training specific technical skills. We encourage rigorous research study to develop problem solving skills.

The Challenges:

The junior researcher teams will work on a real life challenge in each term. The team will present the research results and demonstrate their conceptual design at the end of each term.

The current year’s projects can be found here.

Why Join ARC?

Junior researchers will have a unique opportunity of gaining stimulating research experience and learning first-hand from university students, researchers, and guest advisors from the industry or other faculty.

Junior researchers will gain hands-on learning about flying and robotics by working on real problems. This program aims to inspire students to continue their passion in their STEM education, and to encourage students to pursue post-secondary education in science and engineering. The ARC program may offer opportunities of reaching higher goals such as publishing a research paper, filing a patent, or perhaps or starting a business.

Resources Provided:

  • Access to advisors, undergrad and graduate coaches
  • Guest speakers to give talks, ideas, and inspiration
  • Guided studies on flight related basic knowledge
  • Access and coaching on related hardware and software tools. These include:
    • MATLAB or equivalent tools
    • Python
    • CAD
    • Other simulation software

Testimonials from our students:

“Going into the 2021 ARC program I had no real experience in an engineering environment. There was so much I learned throughout the months of research and preliminary design; a lot of which I could never find in courses at my high school due to complexity. This program really opened my eyes to the different sides of the process of an aerospace engineering project. I got to work with some amazing peers who showed me new perspectives to problem solving and also some awesome mentors who helped me along the way.”

– Minuja R., Grade 10, ARC 2021 Session

“I really enjoyed the ideas and projects that my instructors provided. It’s clear that they put a lot of thought into creating engaging prompts that challenged us. The meetings were very organized, and the instructors were always willing to help.”

– Diana C., Grade 11, ARC 2021 Session

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