Vermont high school students see their future careers in technology and design

Photo: BETA team member Aaron Grossman leads GIV students Will Patnow of Craftsbury, Ty Duell of Lincoln, and Kenneth Moran of Starksboro on a tour of the Electric Space Industry headquarters. Photo: Candice Hope

After two years of virtual programming due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Governor’s Institutes of Vermont (GIV) are once again holding their signature summer programs in person. More than 500 adolescent students in grades 10-12, representing seventy-five high schools from every corner of Vermont, spend 1-2 weeks on a college campus, diving deep into the subjects they love: arts, astronomy, engineering, entrepreneurship, environmental sciences and technology, global issues and youth action, health and medicine, mathematical sciences and technology and design.

GIV kicked off the 2022 summer session at Champlain College with the Institute of Technology and Design. Celebrating 20th year, this institute provides an opportunity for tech-savvy students to explore the intersection between art and science and hone their ability to develop solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges.

Photo: GIV student Addison Mayhew from Bristol smiles as she experiences flight in BETA’s electric aircraft simulator. Photo: Candice Hope

Partnerships with local companies are part of the curriculum. Nearly 70 students visited BETA Technologies to learn more about the design and development process behind their all-electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft and the supporting charging infrastructure. Students learned directly from Vermonters working at the forefront of the electric space industry, and some were able to “pilot” the aircraft in a flight simulator. “I feel a spark of excitement when I look at the technology being developed here,” said Marco Sworen, a student at Rutland High School. “Many of the tools that are used are resources that my friends and I openly taught them at an early age. And I see the application of the knowledge we gain through this experience both in our schools and beyond.”

Students got a first-hand look at what the future in STEM might look like and a better understanding of the qualities local employers are looking for. Student Will Patnow, from Craftsbury, enthused: “It was amazing to see all this technology in action. I hope to work there one day!”

GIV Executive Director Elizabeth Frascoia commented on the benefits of this kind of first-hand experience: “Collaborating with real-world, cutting-edge mentors like the folks at BETA helps illuminate tangible paths our students can follow to make a difference in our state and beyond .” Co-Director of Technology and Design Shannon Walters adds, “The BETA team demonstrates exactly what we want our students to learn at GIV: that solving complex problems involves many trials along the way, and that professionals continue to learn and support each other by create a culture that encourages new ideas.

About GIV

The Governor’s Institutes of Vermont is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that welcomes business sponsorships and individual donations to help fund GIV’s efforts to provide high-quality programming to all interested Vermont students, regardless of family financial status . If you are able to give, please call 802-865-4448 or visit www.giv.org/support. Aspiring high school students can apply for the 2023 sessions starting in January.

About BETA Technologies

BETA Technologies is an electric space company that is creating a new paradigm for transporting goods and people. A relentlessly focused team is building ALIA, our all-electric zero-grid aircraft and accompanying multi-modal charging infrastructure, to provide an end-to-end solution that enables greener, safer and more efficient transport. Safety and pragmatism are guiding principles driving all elements of the design and business model, from the aircraft’s elegant excesses to the company’s cargo-first approach to the market.

BETA team members bring deep experience from leading global organizations and take a hands-on multidisciplinary approach to solving challenges and driving innovation. Each team member is given the opportunity to obtain a flight certificate free of charge, allowing for a first-hand understanding of the aircraft’s systems and engineering.

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