Young Vt. engineering minds tested at UVM - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Young Vt. engineering minds tested at UVM

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They're exploring the link between a box of Legos and a life-saving robot.

It's no Boeing, but it'll fly.

It's no R2-D2, but it's a prototype for a robot that could save a life.

"In a disaster zone it can find an injured person," said Ben Clark, Vergennes Union High School.

And it's made partially out of Legos.

Many of these students are Vermont's next crop of engineers.

The Governor's Institute at the University of Vermont helps them feed the brain in a way traditional classrooms don't often allow.

"My school doesn't really try to offer any engineering courses," said Anna Kenyan, Mill River High School.

Kenyan spent the morning Wednesday engineering rockets. Others efforted new airplane designs.

Clark and Kai Boyd were tasked with coming up with a robot to help in disaster relief areas. 

"We used infrared sensors and it tracks this beacon," said Boyd, Brattleboro High School.

This Governor's Institute on Engineering gives high schoolers a glimpse of college life. For a week, they live on the University of Vermont's campus and participate in hands on labs that focus on electronics, robotics and biomedical engineering. 

The afternoon's about learning from the pros. Hazelett Strip Casting's owner says it's becoming harder to find talented engineers or machine operators. 

His words were backed up by the governor.

"We need more folks who are trained in engineering schools and STEM skills to be able to keep our economy growing," said Governor Peter Shumlin, D-Vermont.

"I chose GIV and robotics to just get some experience on what they will do and what you need to be able to build one," said Boyd.

Boyd's doing her part in building the skills needed to become a successful engineer. 

The state of Vermont's part is to keep promising young mind's like Boyd's working in the Green Mountains. 

There are nine different institutes that focus on more topics than just engineering. All Vermont students are eligible for a scholarship to attend.

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