Transparent Spacer Pixle Transparent Spacer Pixle
VA Space Grant Logo
Red Pixel

Transparent Spacer Pixle The Virginia Space Grant Consortium (VSGC) is a coalition of five Virginia colleges and universities, NASA, state educational agencies, Virginia's Center for Innovative Technology, and other institutions representing diverse aerospace education and research.

The VSGC acts as an umbrella organization, coordinating and developing aerospace-related and high technology educational and research efforts throughout the Commonwealth and connecting Virginia's effort to a national community of shared aerospace interests.

Transparent Spacer Pixle VSGC Program Images

VSGC | News Virginia Space Grant News

News and Announcements

National Space Grant Distinguished Service Award Presented to Katherine Coleman Goble Johnson

On March 3, the National Council of Space Grant Directors presented the National Space Grant Distinguished Service award to Katherine Coleman Goble Johnson, former NASA Research Mathematician, who is the central figure of the book and movie, Hidden Figures. Past recipients of this award include John Glenn, Sally Ride, Neil deGrasse Tyson, James Van Allen and Bill Nye among others.

The Virginia Space Grant Consortium worked with Katherine's family to develop two videos. The first is the presentation of the award at her residence and the second is a video of reminiscences with Katherine.


You can read a short BIOGRAPHY of Katherine Coleman Goble Johnson written by Hidden Figures Author, Margot Lee Shetterly.

2017-18 VSGC New Investigator Program

The New Investigator Program is designed to strengthen Virginia’s research infrastructure by providing startup funding to Virginia Space Grant university personnel who are conducting research that is directly aligned with NASA’s mission.  NASA’s research interests embrace a wide range of science, engineering, computational and other disciplines. 

This opportunity is available to those who have yet to become established researchers.  Awardees must be tenure track faculty who are within the first five years of their academic careers and they must be U.S. citizens. 2017-18 New Investigator Program Request for Proposals.

The request for proposals for the 2017-2018 cycle is due February 27, 2017.

Please contact Dr. Tysha Sanford,, if you have any questions.

Science and Technology Committee

Mary Sandy, Director, Virginia Space Grant Consortium, was invited to brief the Virginia House of Delegates Science and Technology Committee on January 30 on the Consortium and its programs. She was accompanied by University of Virginia student, Staten Longo, who is the Project Manager for the student-led, Virginia Cubesat Constellation mission and John Schumacher, Vice President of Governmental Relations for Aerojet Rocketdyne. Schumacher serves as chair of the Consortium's Steering Committee for its Small Sat Virginia Initiative.

Cyber Counselor Workshop Opportunity

Virginia Space Grant Consortium is pleased to announce the Hampton Roads Cyber Counselor Workshop. This is a wonderful opportunity for 25 school counselors and career coaches from the local area to learn about educational opportunities in the field of Cybersecurity for their students. Cybersecurity is one of the fastest growing career fields today. On February 23rd , we invite you to come learn about this high tech career field and the opportunities available to students! Representatives from Norfolk State University, Thomas Nelson Community College, Old Dominion University, and others will provide information regarding the educational pathways in cybersecurity. Space is limited.

To apply, just fill out the brief application form online For more information, please contact Kirsten Manning at We hope to see you there!

Cyber Saturday Program for Hampton Roads High School Students

Virginia Space Grant Consortium is pleased to announce the Hampton Roads Cyber Saturdays Program. This is a wonderful opportunity for high school students (9th – 12th grades) from the Hampton Roads area to learn about career opportunities in the field of Cybersecurity. Cybersecurity is one of the fastest growing career fields today. We invite you to come learn from Cybersecurity industry leaders about this high tech career field and the opportunities available to students! All skill levels are invited to attend! Workshop dates are March 11th for the Newport News area and March 25th for the Virginia Beach region.

There is no cost to attend, but students must apply for the program. To apply, download and complete the student information section of the application form and return it to your teacher. Your teacher will write a brief letter of recommendation and return it to us to complete your application process. The student application can be found at For more information, please contact Kirsten Manning at We hope to see you there!

Hampton High School Students Create Model of Olympus Mons through NASA Program

The Virginia Space Grant Consortium selected Hampton High School to create a model of Olympus Mons to support a national NASA program. Olympus Mons, a volcano on Mars, stands over twice the height of Mount Everest and is currently the largest known volcano in the solar system...

Check out the FULL ARTICLE for more details. Article written by Hampton City Schools.

VSGC a Partner in the Hampton Roads Cyber (HR Cyber) Project

VSGC is partnering with ODU and others on the Hampton Roads Cybersecurity Education, Workforce and Economic Development Alliance (HRCyber) project. HR Cyber is a collaborative partnership between educational institutions, government agencies, non-profit organizations, and private employers focused on developing educational pathways from high school, through community college, to four year institutions, and continual professional development, that provides a capable and fully cybersecurity workforce for the region. VSGC is coordinating several components of the project including: 5-Part Cybersecurity video series; a DACUM (Developing a Curriculum) panel for a Cybersecurity Analyst; Counselor Workshop; Cybersecurity Saturday for high school students, and internships through the CSIIP. Visit the HR Cyber website at

Students Study Earth Science through the Lens of NASA Research

High school students from across the state are gathered this week at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, to tackle planning for future missions to answer critical science questions around climate.

See the PRESS RELEASE for more details!


Virginia Space Grant Consortium sponsors ODU student engineers' launch of experimental paylod from NASA Wallops.

Check out the FULL ARTICLE for more details. Article written by ODU.

Virginia Community College Students Collect Data for NASA Using Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)

Thirteen students from five Virginia Community Colleges can now add unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and NASA to their resumes thanks to their work on a sea level rise study for NASA Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia's Eastern Shore. The students completed four-days of fieldwork at NASA Wallops in which they planned and conducted UAS missions, analyzed data, and prepared a report for NASA. See Press Release for more details.

See PRESS RELEASE for more details!

Early Learning STEM

Rudo Kashiri was invited by Congressman Mike Honda (U.S. Representative California's 17th congressional district) to be one of the four panelists at his briefing on Early Learning STEM. Representative Honda and his staff organized the briefing, along with Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (U.S. Representative Texas's 18th congressional district) and her staff. This was the second in a three-part series for Congressional staff and education policy stakeholders entitled Education Through the Lens. The "lens" in question refers both to viewing the selected educational topics through the lens of equity in education as well as to the goal of incorporating media in creative ways in the briefings. The final briefing in the series on July 12 will focus on Global Girls Education.

The briefing, held in the Capitol Visitor's Center Congressional Auditorium on June 10, 2016, was moderated by Dr. Russell Schilling, Executive Director of STEM for the U.S. Department of Education. The four panelists were: Ms. Carrie Draper, Executive Director Founder, Readiness Learning Associates; Ms. Wendy Brenneman, Manager of Early Childhood STEM Initiatives, Carnegie Science Center Pittsburgh; Ms. Rudo Kashiri, Education Programs Manager, NASA Virginia Space Grant Consortium; and Mr. David Lowenstein, Senior Director, Ready To Learn, PBS KIDS Digital.

Congressman Honda is very passionate about working towards equity in education in all areas. One area focuses on ensuring that all children have access to high-quality early learning education. The Department of Education is currently leading in the area of Early Learning STEM, and Congressman Honda hoped to broaden the knowledge of the promising practices in this area on the Hill through this briefing. The panelist’s deep knowledge and experience in this area made a critical difference in communicating key facets of Early Learning STEM to the Hill audience.

New Investigator Program

Five faculty members from VSGC-member universities have received the New Investigator Program award of $10,000 each for the 2016-2017 cycle. The New Investigator Program award is designed to strengthen Virginia's research infrastructure and to provide start-up funding for new faculty members who have yet to become established researchers. Geared to faculty who are conducting research directly aligned with NASA's mission, the program targets those who are in the first five years of their academic career. Faculty who submit a proposal must be qualified to serve as the principal investigator at their respective institutions. Proposals are reviewed by a panel of VSGC member university representatives and NASA experts.

Since 2009, a total of $330,000 has been awarded to 33 faculty members!

Faculty members for 2016-2017

James T. Burns
University of Virginia
Department of Materials Science & Engineering
Correlating FIB/TEM and HR-EBSD Representations of the Plasticity Condition in the Near-Crack Tip Region of Structural Materials

Jermiah Still
Old Dominion University
Exploring the Influence of Saliency on Visual Search Within Tablet Interfaces

Balsa Terzic
Old Dominion University
Feasibility Study of Remote Sensing by "Compton Sources"

Shane Davis
University of Virginia
Modeling Emission Spectra from Radiation Magnetohydrodynamic Simulations of Black Hole Accretion

Cody H. Fleming
University of Virginia
Systems & Information Engineering
Towards a Methodology for Safety-Driven Analysis and Integration of Hetrogeneous, Autonomous Decision-Makers in the National Airspace