The Virginia Space Grant Consortium in partnership with the Virginia Community College System (VCCS), NASA Langley Research Center, and NASA Wallops Flight Facility offers the STEM Takes Flight at Virginia’s Community Colleges initiative.
STEM Takes Flight provides a suite of programs for Virginia community college students pursuing STEM majors (exclusive of allied health and business) and faculty in STEM disciplines statewide.

Virginia community college students are invited to apply for paid, hands-on research experiences at NASA Langley and NASA Wallops.

Student researchers will work with NASA research advisors on the designated research project over the course of a 10-week, 40-hour- per-week, summer research experience. Students will receive a $6,000 stipend

Eligibility Requirements

  • U.S. citizenship
  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Attend a Virginia community college
  • Must be a sophomore 
  • Enrolled in at least 6 credit hours
  • Be a STEM major (exclusive of applied health and business)
  • Students pursuing a STEM technician track are highly encouraged to apply
  • Have a minimum 2.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale with references and activities demonstrating a strong interest in STEM

Faculty are invited to participate in a three-day residential workshop at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility that focuses on the integration of STEM in the NASA workplace with the purpose of assisting faculty in educating students on the importance of teamwork, technical skills, and problem-solving while introducing them to the missions performed and managed by NASA Wallops Flight Facility.

Briefings and tours will highlight the suborbital and orbital missions and launches conducted at NASA Wallops and around the world. The importance of the collaborative work of engineers, scientists, technicians, and safety and range control personnel will be demonstrated through the use of case studies about real mission challenges faced by NASA Wallops-managed missions.

Upon completion of a post-workshop survey and submission of their deliverables, participants will receive a stipend.


Must be a U.S. citizen
Must teach a STEM-related field in the Virginia Community College System

Participant Requirements

Educators develop lesson plans in their subject area based on the technologies, concepts, and skills learned in the workshop.

● To foster enhanced community college retention in STEM academic tracks through graduation or transfer to a four-year institution.
● To strengthen VSGC’s relationships with and build NASA linkages with/for Virginia’s community colleges.
● Supporting objectives are to nurture diversity; to pipeline STEM students to their next academic and workplace steps; and to foster STEM career awareness and workplace skills.

STEM Takes Flight offers authentic, PAID, NASA research experiences for community college students and faculty,

Student Research Experience: June 3 – August 9

Student Research Experience Applications: Open December 8-March 18

Student Research Experience Reference Letters: Due March 25

Faculty Professional Development Program: May 14-16

Faculty Professional Development Applications: Due April 7