IT and Astrophotography for Teens at GIV’s Winter Weekends

It’s not often I want to revisit my turbulent teenage years, but scanning the list of course offerings for the Governor’s Institutes of Vermont Winter Weekends makes me wish I were back in high school.

GIV hosts advanced academic programs on college campuses for students in grades 9 through 12. The organization is best known for its weeklong summer sessions, but it also offers two Winter Weekend programs at Goddard College that take place February 7-9 and February 21-23. Participants can make augmented reality objects in the IT institute, build a biomass stove in the engineering track or take and manipulate photos of the cosmos in the first-ever astrophotography class. There’s also a girls-only advanced math track. And a few theater and art options, too.

GIV Executive Director Karen Taylor Mitchell says the Winter Weekends give students a chance to sample the GIV experiences before signing up for a week away from home. “We see a lot of them come back in the summer,” she says.

Mitchell seems particularly excited about the astrophotography class, which is made possible by a partnership with the Northern Skies Observatory in Peacham. The Observatory is home to a 17-inch telescope, which students will be able to use. But, says Mitchell, “it’s really an information technology strand” because students will use computers to work with the images they capture.

Registration for the Winter Weekends is open now; the official deadline is January 10, but Mitchell says that may be extended, since many students returned from holiday break on January 6. Full tuition for the Winter Weekends is $295, but a sliding scale based on family income can bring it down in some cases to just $10.

To find a list of Winter Weekend course offerings and download an application, click here.