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Covestro and Swiss Consulate celebrate Solar Impulse’s NYC arrival with ‘Science Day at JFK’

Hundreds of NYC Students Met Clean-Tech Aviation Pioneers, Toured Plane

June 16, 2016 From Covestro LLC
Students from Ditmas Intermediate School 62 (pictured) and the Brooklyn Science and Engineering Academy welcomed Solar Impulse 2 and the pioneering pilots, Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg, who conceived, built and are flying the world’s first solar-powered airplane around the world. Photo courtesy of Covestro LLC
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On Wednesday, June 15, more than 300 New York City elementary, middle, and high school students joined Covestro and Swiss Consulate representatives at JFK International Airport to welcome the history-making Solar Impulse airplane (Si2) — and the clean-tech pioneers who conceived it — to New York. The plane flew into NYC on Saturday, marking the final U.S. stop in the first solar-powered flight around the world. 

“Science Day at JFK” was co-hosted by Covestro as part of its i3 (ignite, imagine, innovate) STEM initiative and the Swiss Consulate, in collaboration with United Nations Environment Programme and the New York City Department of Education.

The event provided a unique educational platform for Solar Impulse co-founders and pilots Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg, who shared their scientific adventures firsthand with students from six schools across all five boroughs.

Represented at the event were Ditmas Intermediate School 62 and Brooklyn Science and Engineering Academy (Brooklyn), United Nations International School (Manhattan), Aviation High School JFK  Annex (Queens), Tottenville High School (Staten Island) and Baychester Academy (Bronx).

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The students experienced the excitement of the record-breaking expedition, engaging in an interactive discussion with the pilots, exploring the plane up close and learning more about the high-tech materials used onboard from ground crew members such as Paige Kassalen. Kassalen is Covestro’s 23-year-old electrical engineer who has been part of the Solar Impulse journey since it left Hawaii on April 21 for Moffett Airfield in California. She is the first and only American female engineer on the team. 

Students from Ditmas I.S., who are sustainability leaders in their school, also participated in hands-on science demonstrations led by Covestro i3 STEM volunteers. 

Covestro, a leading polymer materials supplier, has been a Solar Impulse partner since 2010. Its advanced technologies played a large role in transforming Solar Impulse from a vision to a reality, helping to create a lightweight and energy-efficient plane that can fly day and night without fuel.

 “The achievement of Si2 highlights the enormous promise of clean technologies that we hope will unleash the potential of today’s students as the clean-tech pioneers of tomorrow,” said Richard Northcote, chief sustainability officer for Covestro.  “Solar Impulse embodies Covestro’s commitment to sustainability and advancing STEM education. Science Day at JFK was an opportunity to bring it all together in a fun and exciting way, with the hope of inspiring a cleaner, brighter future.”

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