Hundreds of NYC students meet clean-tech aviation pioneers and tour plane
New York, NY, June 15, 2016 — Today, 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 NYC 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).
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, like 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 IS 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, 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.”
About Covestro LLC:
Covestro LLC is one of the leading producers of high-performance polymers in North America and is part of the global Covestro business with 2015 sales of EUR 12.1 billion. Covestro manufactures high-tech polymer materials and develops innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction, medical and sports and leisure industries. The Covestro group has 30 production sites around the globe and employed approximately 15,800 people at the end of 2015.
About Solar Impulse:
Swiss pioneers Bertrand Piccard – Initiator and Chairman – and André Borschberg – CEO and Co-Founder – are the pilots and driving force behind Solar Impulse, the first airplane able to fly day and night without a drop of fuel – propelled solely by the sun’s energy. Supported by Main Partners Solvay, Omega, Schindler, ABB, Official Partners Google, Altran, Covestro, Swiss Re Corporate Solutions, Swisscom and Moët Hennessy, and Host Partners, Masdar in Abu Dhabi and Foundation Prince Albert II in Monaco, they are attempting the first Round-The-World Solar Flight with Solar Impulse 2 (Si2) – demonstrating that clean technologies can achieve the impossible.
Si2 is a concentration of clean technologies – a genuine flying laboratory. It is a single-seater aircraft made of carbon fiber that has a 72m / 236ft wingspan (larger than a Boeing 747) for a weight of 2300kg / 5100lb (the equivalent of an empty family car). The 17,248 solar cells built into the wing power the four batteries (38.5kWh per battery) that in turn power the four electric engines (13.5kW / 17.5hp each) and the propellers with renewable energy. The plane is therefore capable of saving a maximum amount of energy during the day and flying throughout the night on batteries. Si2 requires zero fuel and has virtually unlimited autonomy: theoretically, Si2 could fly forever and is only limited by the pilot’s sustainability.
Find more information at www.covestro.com.
For more information, please contact:
Bob Walker, Head, External Communications, Covestro LLC
Georgio Pompilio, Deputy Consul General, Swiss Consulate General in New York
Toya Holness, Deputy Press Secretary, New York City Department of Education
Alejandro Laguna, Information Officer, United Nations Environment Programme
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This press release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Covestro AG. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Covestro’s public reports which are available on the Covestro website at www.covestro.com. Covestro assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.
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