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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.

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VSGC | News Virginia Space Grant News

News and Announcements

STEM Takes Flight Press Release

STEM Takes Flight is offering new NASA research experiences for community college students!

Check out the PRESS RELEASE for more details!


The Virginia Space Grant Consortium's Building Leaders for Advancing Science and Technology (BLAST) program received the 2016 Programs That Work award from the Virginia Mathematics & Science Coalition (VMSC). Governor Terry McAuliffe presented the award on January 19 during a reception held at the Library of Virginia in Richmond. This prestigious award recognizes exemplary science and integrated science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs evidencing a positive impact on student or teacher learning. The BLAST award was one of twelve presented by the Governor on behalf of the VMSC.

Governor Terry McAuliffe presents the Programs That Work award to Virginia Space Grant Consortium BLAST staff and partners. (L-R): Chris Carter, VSGC Deputy Director, Larry Richards, UVA Engineering Faculty, Brenda Neil, VSGC staff, Governor Terry McAuliffe, Mary Jo Leber, VSGC staff, Ed Murphy, UVA Astronomy Faculty and Kim Lester, VT Center for Enhancement of Engineering Diversity.

New Investigator Program

The Virginia Space Grant Consortium (VSGC) is seeking tenure track faculty at member universities for our New Investigator Program. This 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 new faculty members who are within the first five (5) years of their academic career.

The deadline for proposals is February 25, 2016.

Individuals must be qualified to serve as a principal investigator at their respective institution and be a U.S. Citizen. A total of 5 awards of $10,000 each will be made contingent on NASA funding. Submission is limited to one proposal per investigator. Institutions are required to provide 1:1 non-federal cost matching. In other words, if $10,000 is requested from Virginia Space Grant Consortium, then $10,000 must be provided as match. Note that indirect costs may not be charged for this award; however, they may be included as un-recovered IDC costs as part of the match requirement.


DOWNLOAD the request for proposal form.

STEM Takes Flight

The 2016 STEM Takes Flight Build/Fly/Learn and Individual Student Research Experience Programs application is now available. The deadline is January 30, 2016. Twenty of Virginia's brightest community college students pursuing STEM disciplines will be invited as guest researchers of NASA Langley Research Center and NASA Wallops Flight Facility. They will work alongside NASA researchers on projects in support of the NASA Mission.

STEM Takes Flight with Virginia's Community Colleges WEBSITE


Internship Paves Solid Career Path for Jayla Seward

At the Commonwealth STEM Industry Internship Program (CSIIP), we were fortunate to have Jayla Seward serve her 2015 summer CSIIP internship at the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center (SVHEC), located in South Boston, VA. Not only was she able to gain valuable skills and experience, but she also served as a role model for potential internship candidates.

As a student at Southern Virginia Community College (SVCC), Jayla was one of five CSIIP interns participating through the STEM Takes Flight (STF) program, which was launched in June 2015. Funded by National Space Grant Foundation, STF provides Virginia community college students career-enriching opportunities typically available to undergrads at four-year institutions.

At SVHEC, Jayla was able to tap her studies at SVCC, and apply them to new technologies in robotics and AutoCad Electrical, as well as cutting-edge manufacturing. Jayla is now a junior at Virginia Commonwealth University and based on her CSIIP internship experience, she determined that she definitely wants to major in electrical engineering.

She valued the opportunity so much that she submitted an unsolicited testimonial, praising the experience and its impact on her future career path. She wrote, "Every expectation that I had when starting this internship had been [exceeded]. As I prepare to attend Virginia Commonwealth University... I leave concretely declaring electrical engineering as my major... One day I want to say that I am a graduate of VCU in the field of electrical engineering and this internship set me in the right path. Thanks to everyone involved and I will keep in touch." - Jayla Seward

Scholarships and Fellowships

The Virginia Space Grant Consortium (VSGC) is pleased to announce the 2016 -2017 Scholarship and Fellowship Program.

The Undergraduate STEM Research Scholarship Program provides a one-year scholarship of up to $8,500 to support undergraduate students actively engaged in faculty-mentored research of interest to NASA.

The Graduate STEM Research Fellowship Program provides $6,000 in support to graduate students actively engaged in a faculty-mentored research project of interest to NASA. The Fellowship is renewable for one year.

Building Leaders for Advancing Science and Technology (BLAST) Program

Photo: BLAST students at Virginia Tech designed, built and tested an earthquake resistant structure.

Some 240 Virginia high school students had a BLAST (Building Leaders for Advancing Science and Technology) at Virginia Tech and the University of Virginia this summer. Rising 9th and 10th grade students experienced innovative, hands-on science, technology, engineering and math activities, demonstrations and tours designed to motivate and inspire them for STEM studies and careers. Students engaged in problem-solving, team-based activities designed to solve engineering and scientific challenges under the guidance of university faculty. BLAST is free of charge to students who are selected to participate. For information, visit

Check out our FLICKR page to see photos from this summer's academies.

We also have videos documenting the VASTS and Space Coast weeks.

Virginia Space Grant Consortium Summer Academies

The Virginia Space Grant Consortium's summer academies have wrapped up for the summer! The summer kicked off with three weeks of Virginia Aerospace Science and Technology Scholars (VASTS) on June 20th and ended with two weeks of Virginia Space Coast Scholars (VSCS) on August 14th. It's been a busy summer but the on students has been immeasurable.

Check out our FLICKR page to see photos from this summer's academies.

We also have videos documenting the VASTS and Space Coast weeks.

VSGC Announces New Initiative for Virginia Community Colleges

The Virginia Space Grant Consortium (VSGC) has launched STEM Takes Flight at Virginia's Community Colleges, which provides a suite of programs for community college students pursuing STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) majors (exclusive of allied health and business) and faculty in STEM disciplines statewide. STEM Takes Flight opportunities include $5,000 mentored scholarships, NASA paid onsite research experiences, paid industry internships, new courses, and a NASA residential faculty professional development workshop. Funded through NASA, the $500,000 grant provides funding for a two-year award period, and seeks to foster enhanced community college retention in STEM academic tracks through graduation or transfer to a four-year institution.

VSGC launched the STEM Takes Flight initiative in partnership with the Virginia Community College System (VCCS), NASA Langley Research Center and NASA Wallops Flight Facility, and with the strong support of the Virginia Governor's office. The initiative directly embrace VCCS goals of increasing access to affordable education and training in preparation for workforce success and tripling the number of students graduating with associate degrees, transferring to a four-year institution and/or receiving a workforce credential.

For detailed program information and applications visit,

Virginia Space Grant Consortium Receives 2014 Programs That Work Award from Virginia Mathematics & Science Coalition

The Virginia Aerospace Science and Technology Scholars (VASTS) program, operated by the Virginia Space Grant Consortium (VSGC), has received the prestigious 2014 Programs That Work Award from the Virginia Mathematics & Science Coalition (VMSC). The award recognizes exemplary mathematics, science, and integrated science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programs for which there is evidence of a positive impact on student or teacher learning.

VASTS, a free program open to qualified high school juniors statewide, offers an exploration-themed, online course based on the exciting work of NASA. Students who perform well in the course are invited to one of three, one-week summer academies at NASA Langley Research Center where they work with science, technology and engineering mentors to design a human mission to Mars. Participants earn up to four college credits upon completion. Since inception in 2008, VASTS has educated 2460 students, who represent 100% of Virginia's legislative districts. The program is a partnership between VSGC and NASA Langley Research Centers with additional funding support from the Commonwealth of Virginia and industry.


Visit the VASTS website.

Integrative STEM Program (inSTEP)

Virginia Space Grant Consortium (VSGC) is pleased to announce the upcoming 2014-2016 integrative STEM program (inSTEP) for future STEM teachers. This two-year program serves to increase preservice students' understanding of STEM and how to teach integrative STEM in the classroom. The inSTEP preservice teachers must have demonstrated interest in teaching in grades 4-8, as well as science, technology, engineering, and/or mathematics. The program includes $5000 scholarship, FIRST Lego robotics training, conference travel and registration, travel support to two NASA Centers for innovative STEM training, and MORE!!!

Visit inSTEP to find out more information and apply.