I am currently starting my Junior year in high school. I am very interested in majoring in aerospace engineering in college and would like to attend (if possible) a top engineering school such as MIT, Cal-Tech, or others. This year I would really like to compete in a science competition such as the Siemens Competition or Intel ISEF and, naturally, I plan on doing something based on aerospace engineering to help get me some experience in the field. Here's my problem. I have no 'formal' background in aerospace engineering, and I basically have no idea where to start. I am interested in the structural design of air, and particularly spacecraft - though I would be willing and eager to do a project in virtually any related field. (Because of the level of the competition, I am looking to do a high level project. Despite my lack of background in aerospace, I am still a good student and feel that I could pick it up, at least to an advanced High School level.) The few questions I have are these: - What would be good areas to research? - (Similar to the first) What are some problems in the field that would be worth looking at and attempting to address? - and most importantly, what would be some good books/texts that I could read for research and to give me a better understanding of the field and the problems faced in it (also, so I can better determine a topic) If anyone has any other advice on how to get started on a science fair project such as this, I would greatly appreciate it.