What if I have a medical condition that requires I take medicine during the day at the Academy?

Just bring your medication with you during the day and please let us know about your requirement on your Medical Release Form that will be sent to you. If you have medicine that needs refrigeration and you must take it during the day, we can make arrangements as long as we know ahead of time.

When do I need to withdraw from the course so that I do not receive a “Withdraw/Fail” (WF) or a “Fail” (F) from Thomas Nelson Community College (TNCC)?

The VASTS/TNCC withdraw date is January 15, 2018. You must give Ian Cawthray (ian.m.cawthray@nasa.gov) notice in writing before January 15, 2018.

Why are there two different enrollment processes for the VASTS course?

While it is not required to enroll for College Credit in VASTS, we encourage students to choose to receive the college credits from Thomas Nelson Community College (TNCC) as part of their online course participation. A student can’t be registered for MEC-100 without first being enrolled in the VASTS online program. The college is a separate entity from the VASTS program, so all transcript requests must be made directly to TNCC. See the TNCC Transcript Request page for details.

If this is a dual enrollment course, why do I not automatically get high school credit from my school?

Dual enrollment means you are enrolled in high school and a college course at the same time. VASTS does not have a formal agreement in place with every school division in the state to provide high school credit as well. Therefore, you will need to talk with your guidance counselor to determine if the VASTS online course meets any of your school division’s requirements for a science or elective course. We send a letter to your parents and your school providing the course description and syllabus to help you in this endeavor. But it is up to you to talk to your counselor, and many schools need this process to start no later than December in order for you to receive high school credit.

What is the enrollment process for the VASTS course if I do want to receive college credit?

This is a multi-step process.

  1. You must first apply to the VASTS program using the application link found on this website.
  2. Program administrators will give you instructions on how to complete the mandatory pre-course requirements which involve logging in to the course website, creating a profile, completing the pre-assessment survey, and signing and returning to us the necessary forms and paperwork.
  3. You will be given instructions on how to enroll in Thomas Nelson Community College and how to register for the MEC 100: Intro to Engineering course.

Is there a cost associated with the online course or the Summer Academy?

No. We receive funding that provides the entire VASTS experience to you free of cost! We even pay for your college credits from Thomas Nelson Community College. VASTS provides your housing, food, and transportation at the Academy.

Where will I stay during the summer program?

You will be housed two to a room (same sex) at a local college dormitory or hotel. All meals will be provided, and you will be chaperoned at all times.

What if I have a medical condition that requires I take medicine during the day?

(Summer Academy only) Please bring your medication with you during the day and please let us know about your requirement on your Medical Release Form that will be sent to you if you are accepted into the Summer Academy. If you have medicine that needs refrigeration and you must take it during the day, we can make arrangements as long as we know ahead of time.

Can my parents visit during the week?

No. Parents are invited to attend the closing ceremony at the end of the week on Friday afternoon. Students will arrive on Saturday and leave on the following Friday. Parents who drive students and need a place to stay Saturday night, or plan to attend the closing ceremony and stay over the following Friday night, will need to make their own arrangements.

How are students selected for the summer program?

Each of the eight modules and final project will be graded using the rubrics at the end of each module. Students are selected for the Summer Academy program based on completion of modules, quality of work and timeliness. This is an very competitive, proprietary process performed by a committee of VASTS program staff.

Where will my final project be posted?

Your project will be posted on the VASTS website. Only your first name will appear with your work. Projects will be grouped by team. Your reviewer will review your projects and give you feedback.

When are my on-line assignments due?

Assignments should be turned in (in sequential order) as you complete them. One module of assignments will be due every two weeks. The first module is due Saturday December 30, 2017 at 11:55PM. The module due dates are under Important Dates.

Students who do not successfully complete all assignments will not be invited to participate in the Summer Academy. Acceptance to the summer academy is not guaranteed, but is based on course performance. This includes the completion of all required assignments and quizzes. No zeroes can be earned. Student assignments and final project will be graded by teachers who will send you their comments via the Moodle online course system, which will forward to your email address.