Student Experience

Course Outcomes:

• Understand the big picture of space exploration, including the history of spaceflight, organizations doing work in space,  and the overall space environment.

• Understand how spacecraft, rockets, and launch vehicles are designed and built.

• Understand the latest advances in space technology.

• Explore career opportunities in aviation and space.

• Develop time management skills, organizational skills, writing and communication skills and other necessary skills needed in an online learning environment


Summer Academy dates for 2020:

Week 1:  June 27 – July 3

Week 2:  July 18 – July 24

Week 3:  August 1 – August 7


Online Experience

This is a dynamic, informal learning environment where students progress through a series of five modules to learn about NASA’s Earth and Airborne Sciences orbital and suborbital missions that are conducted or launched from Virginia’s Space Coast. Students have the opportunity to:


• Understand mission-related aerodynamic, science and physics concepts

• Be connected with the latest information about NASA missions and discoveries

• Develop time management skills, technical writing skills, and learn about NASA opportunities for students


Students are given three to four weeks to complete the activities within each module. After module one opens, the other modules open sequentially every three to four weeks. Each module has a theme around which the content is concentrated. Within each module, students are introduced to:


• The connection between science and technology for orbital and suborbital science missions


• How science drives the engineering and technology designs and decisions for flying payload on high altitude research balloons, sounding rockets, unmanned aerial systems, aircraft, or medium-class rockets


• Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) careers associated with NASA’s current missions

Important Information Regarding the Online Course and Acceptance into the Summer Academy


Completing the online course does not guarantee a slot into the Summer Academy. We would love to be able to offer the Summer Academy to every scholar who completes the program. However, space and funding really limit our capabilities.

Scholars do benefit greatly from the online course! The course provides students with exciting enrichment that they do not receive in a traditional classroom environment.

Students will develop their time management skills, their technical writing skills, and increase their awareness of NASA opportunities that are available to them.


Some of our graduates of the online course have said that the time commitment for the coursework is about  three to four hours per week. Some students will spend more time – some will spend less time.  Remember, you will get out of the course what you decide to put into it!


Students are supported in their coursework by a Master Teacher, a Virginia classroom teacher who is familiar with online instruction.


The first four modules each contain a reading assignment, a technical report, a quiz based on the reading assignment, and a math or graphing assignment. All of these assignments are NASA related and are very interactive with video clips and discussion board topics.  The final module is a culminating paper in which the student writes a technical report about a science mission that he/she designs.

This course may satisfy the high school graduation requirement of an online course. Students can print the course syllabus online. The school system will make the decision to offer high school credit for the class.

Important Dates

August 2019: Online course opens

November 10, 2019: Application deadline

December 1,  2019: Module 1 opens

Important Links

Application link.

A printable flyer for the Virginia Space Coast program can be found here.

The direct link to the course site can be found here.

Links to videos and photographs from the 2019 Summer Academies:

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