Building Leaders for Advancing Science and Technology (BLAST)

Application Instructions

The application window for BLAST 2021 is now closed. Please check back in November 2021, when our applications reopen for Summer 2022!

*Please note, students who previously participated in BLAST are NOT eligible to apply as we wish to provide as many students as possible a BLAST experience.


Students must submit their online application by the deadline. Please note that a student’s application is marked “registered” once a name and email address are provided. Additional information entered in the application may be saved at any time. Only after all required fields are completed, and documents are uploaded should the student click the “submit” button at the bottom of the application. Students should check email to be sure they receive confirmation their submission was received.


As part of the application, the student will provide contact information for a teacher or counselor who agrees to submit a letter of recommendation. The Counselor must also verify qualification information via a letter submitted through the application system. These contacts will be notified, and the application status will change to “complete” when the required documents are received. 


Students will be notified of their acceptance status via email no later than March 31.


*Note: If you receive a notification that your application is not complete, but you know you completed all the fields, check to make sure that you hit the “submit” button.



You must upload a copy of your MOST RECENT report card, OR interim grade report.


Helpful Suggestion: If you have a copy of a document that is not in an electronic format, you will need to scan and save the document. With some operating systems, you can save that file as (Save As) a .PDF file. If you do not have that capability, there are several free online programs to allow you to convert the file to a .PDF document. Your school guidance office or computer lab should have a scanner that you may use. Another option is to go to your local library or an office supply store, and they usually offer scanning services for a small fee. If you have problems, ask your teacher or school office for help.



As part of your application packet you are required to provide one letter of recommendation from a teacher or guidance counselor who is familiar with you and who can attest to your academic qualifications.


Once you have submitted your application and included the email address of the educator who is providing the recommendation for you, the system will email this person instructions on how to submit an on-line letter of recommendation on your behalf. Please inform them that they will be receiving an email from with these instructions.


*Note: It is the responsibility of the student to follow up with the person who is providing a letter of recommendation as often as it takes to ensure the recommendation is submitted electronically by the deadline.



This program requests that the students’ School Counselor confirm the following information about the student.


● The student attends a Virginia High School or a Virginia Middle School


● The student is in the 8th or 9th grade


● The student has at least a 2.7 GPA


● This letter is requested through the online application system, and the School Counselor submits this letter automatically through the same online application system.


*Note: It is the responsibility of the student to follow up with the person who is providing the guidance counselor letter as often as it takes to ensure the recommendation is submitted electronically by the deadline.

Please be aware students need both a recommendation letter and a guidance counselor letter to be considered.