Photo: BETA team member Aaron Grossman takes GIV students Will Patnoe of Craftsbury, Ty Duell of Lincoln, and Kenneth Moran of Starksboro on a tour of electric aerospace headquarters. Photo Credit: Candace Hope
After two years of virtual programming due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Governor’s Institutes of Vermont (GIV) is once again holding their signature summer programs in person. More than 500 rising 10th–12th graders, representing seventy-five high schools from every corner of Vermont, are spending 1-2 weeks on a college campus diving deeply into the topics they love: Arts, Astronomy, Engineering, Entrepreneurship, Environmental Science & Technology, Global Issues & Youth Action, Health & Medicine, Mathematical Sciences, and Technology & Design.
GIV kicked off the 2022 summer session at Champlain College with the Technology & Design Institute. Celebrating its 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 of Bristol grins while experiencing flight in BETA’s electric aircraft simulator. Photo Credit: Candace Hope
Partnering with local companies is part of the curriculum. Nearly 70 students toured BETA Technologies to learn more about the design and development process behind their all-electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft and supporting charging infrastructure. Students learned directly from the Vermonters working at the forefront of the electric aerospace 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 Marko Svoren, a student from Rutland High School. “A lot of the tools being used are resources openly taught to me and my friends at a young age. And I can see the application of the knowledge we gain through this experience, both inside and outside our schools.”
Students saw first-hand what a future in STEM could look like, and better understanding of the qualities local employers are looking for. Student Will Patnoe of Craftsbury raved, “It was amazing to see all this technology in action. I hope I get to work there some day!”
GIV’s Executive Director Elizabeth Frascoia commented on the benefits of this type 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.” Technology & Design Co-Director Shannon Walters adds, “The BETA team demonstrated exactly what we want our students to learn at GIV: that solving complex problems involves many attempts along the way, and that professionals continue to learn and support each other by creating a culture which encourages new ideas.”
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 deliver high-quality programming to all interested Vermont students, regardless of their family’s finances. If you are in a position to give, please call 802-865-4448 or visit www.giv.org/support. Interested high school students can apply for the 2023 sessions starting in January.
About BETA Technologies
BETA Technologies is an electric aerospace company that is creating a new paradigm for transporting goods and people. A relentlessly focused team is building ALIA, our net-zero, fully electric aircraft and accompanying multimodal charging infrastructure to provide an end-to-end solution that enables greener, safer, and more efficient transportation. Safety and pragmatism are guiding principles, driving all elements of the design and business model – from elegant redundancies on the aircraft to the company’s cargo-first approach to the market.
BETA’s team members bring deep experience from leading global organizations and take a hands-on multi-disciplinary approach to solving challenges and driving innovation. Every team member is given the opportunity to become flight-certified at no cost, enabling firsthand understanding of aircraft systems and engineering.