BLAST Session Dates for 2021:

  • June 20-23, Old Dominion University
  • June 27-30, University of Virginia
  • July 11-14, Virginia Tech
  • July 18-21, Old Dominion University
  • July 25-28, Virginia Tech
  • August 1-4, University of Virginia

COVID-19 Impact:

The safety of participating students, faculty, and staff members is of utmost importance. Although we have reserved these dates in anticipation of being able to safely operate BLAST in its traditional setting, changes to the program may become necessary due to the ongoing pandemic. Applicants will be informed of changes in a timely manner.

Building Leaders for Advancing Science and Technology (BLAST)


The Building Leaders for Advancing Science and Technology (BLAST) is a partnership between the Virginia Space Grant Consortium, Old Dominion University (ODU), University of Virginia (UVA), Virginia Tech (VT) and the Commonwealth of Virginia. The program was funded by the General Assembly with the purpose of increasing the number of high school graduates who pursue STEM careers by increasing students’ access to STEM enrichment experiences.

BLAST will offer an exciting on-campus summer STEM experience FREE to participating students. BLAST will bring STEM alive through a series of innovative hands-on sessions led by faculty and staff designed to spark interest in STEM opportunities. Faculty demonstrations will showcase some out-of-the-ordinary science and engineering, with the goal of increasing student curiosity.

Students may apply to attend any ONE session at either the University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, or Old Dominion University.

Who can apply?


Students must meet all of the following qualifications in order to apply:

Be a current 8th or 9th grade student from a Virginia middle, high, home-school or private school.


Be a Virginia resident and U.S. Citizen or permanent resident.


Have at least a C+ average.


Have a desire to explore STEM opportunities.


Not have previously attended BLAST.


Have transportation to and from the university. Please note that check-in time is between 3 – 4 p.m. on the first day of the session and check-out time is between 8:30 – 9:30 a.m. on the last day of the session.


Selection process

All qualified applications will be reviewed by a panel of educators, and student selections will be made for the number of available slots for each university. Geographic and demographic diversity are taken into consideration as well as students who have not had previous access to STEM enrichment experiences.