VSGC supports a number of Innovative Projects every year. These projects cover many disciplines and target both K-12 and Higher Education projects. This year, twelve awards were made totaling over $80,000. Areas of interest included programs that supported the Apollo 50th anniversary, summer research experiences for undergraduate students and teacher professional development programs. The winners are listed below:

College of William and Mary Biology professor Randy Chambers was awarded funds for two undergraduates to research greenhouse gas flux from stormwater retention ponds in order to identify ways to decrease global warming caused by methane emissions.

Old Dominion University’s Gon Namkoong will use funds for a research project titled “Thermal stability of perovskite solar cells using nanoparticles/polymer composites.”

Also at Old Dominion University, Joanna Garner’s project “Voyages and Discoveries: Cross-Generational Reflections on the Significance of Space Exploration” will bridge the divide between the Apollo and digital generations with a regional competition. Winning entries will be shown at Slover Library in Norfolk.

At Virginia Tech, Bevlee Watford and Kim Lester proposed another summer of Imagination Summer Camp sessions for rising seventh and eighth graders.

Virginia Tech will also hold a professional development workshop for high school biology, chemistry, earth science and physics teachers. James Heflin proposed this workshop, which will focus on nanoscience and nanotechnology.

At the University of Virginia, Gaurev Giri proposed a summer Research Experience for undergraduate students to study “Metal Organic Framework Thin Film for Electronic and Sensing Applications.”

Also at the University of Virginia, Max C.N. Castorani and Scott C. Doney proposed a Research Experience for one undergraduate to study “Understanding the patterns and drivers of water quality in coastal Virginia using Landsat.”

At the University of Virginia, Jonathan Tan will offer an undergraduate research position for the Virginia Initiative on Cosmic Origins (VICO).

At Southside Virginia Community College, Brent Richey will hold a camp titled “This IS Rocket Science: Remembering and Modeling Mankind’s Giant Leap.” Fifteen students will construct a rocket and launch it on July 20.

This summer, Thomas Nelson Community College will hold a week-long advanced robotics camp for rising third through eighth graders. Patrick Tompkins and Terry Wagner proposed this camp for area students.

The Virginia Air and Space Center will use funds toward designing an interactive Apollo 12 exhibition.

The Science Museum of Virginia will offer day camps to the “Teen Astronomer Program.” Day campers will learn about astronomy and space travel.

Photographs of the 2018 Imagination Summer Camps courtesy of Peter Means/Virginia Tech.