INNOVATIVE PROJECTS

VSGC supports a number of Innovative Projects every year. These projects cover many disciplines and target both K-12 and Higher Education projects.

Imagination Summer Camps at Virginia Tech
Photographs of the 2018 Imagination Summer Camps courtesy of Peter Means/Virginia Tech.

2022 Innovative Projects

 

Virginia Space Grant Consortium Internal Solicitation for Innovative Proposals for 2022

 

Issued:  December 14, 2021

Proposals Due Friday, January 21, 2022

Contact:  Mary Sandy (msandy@odu.edu) or Chris Carter (cxcarter@odu.edu) with questions.

 

The Virginia Space Grant Consortium has about $80,000 total in program funding for member-led innovative project awards.  We anticipate making 8 to 10 awards from this funding pool.  We would like to solicit proposals for innovative projects in higher education, precollege education or informal education where a small grant would make a difference.

 

Areas of interest for this solicitation include:

  • Programs that include activities related to NASA’s Artemis Mission for Moon and Mars exploration
  • Programs relating to Earth System Science that use data from NASA missions
  • Summer research experiences for undergraduate students
  • Service-learning experiences for undergraduate students, including but not limited to those that might involve Unmanned Autonomous Systems.
  • Teacher Professional Development programs

 

Click here to view the full proposal.

 

2021 Innovative Projects

For the 2021 Innovative Projects program, thirteen awards were made totaling over $112,488. Areas of interest included: programs that include activities related to NASA’s Artemis Mission for Moon and Mars exploration; programs relating to Earth System Science that use data from NASA missions; summer research experiences for undergraduate students; service-learning experiences for undergraduate students, including but not limited to those that involve unmanned autonomous systems; space flight programs; and teacher professional development programs. The winners are listed below:

 

At Old Dominion University, Orlando Ayala was awarded funding for a project titled “2021 ODU Remote Experience for Young Engineers and Scientists REYES“.

 

Old Dominion University’s Sampath Jayarathna was awarded funding for a student flight project titled “STARS: Secondary Teachers as Researchers with Satellites“.

 

Old Dominion University’s Sharan Asundi was awarded funding for a student flight project titled “Development of a Novel Remote Sensing Receiver (DiBAR), and Impedance Probe, and a Visual+NIR Sensor for a 3U CubeSat Technology Demonstration of In-Situ Space Measurement and Earth Remote Sensing“.

 

Also at Old Dominion University, Dimirie Popescu was awarded funding for a student flight project titled “STEM Outreach Activities Using the ODU Satellite Ground Station“.

 

At Southwest Virginia Community College, Kevin Stilwell and Ryan Dorkoski were awarded funding for a project titled “Utilization of Remote Sensing in Undergraduate Biodiversity Research

 

At the University of Virginia, Giri Gaurav was awarded funding for a project titled “Summer Research Experience for Undergraduate Students: Metal Organic Framework Thin Films for Electronic, Filtration and Sensing Applications“.

 

At Virginia Tech, Pinar Acar, was awarded funds for a project titled “Data-Driven Design of Composite Materials for Aerospace Components“.

 

Virginia Tech’s Carl Dietrich was awarded Funds for a project titled “Enhancement of Remotely-accessible, Low-cost, Portable Antenna Range for Outreach and Instruction“.

 

Also at Virginia Tech, F. Marc Michel was awarded funds for a project titled “Nanoscience Professional Development Workshop for High School Teachers in STEM“.

 

Virginia Tech’s Bevlee Watford and Kim Lester were awarded funds for a project titled “Project Water Works“.

 

Virginia Tech’s final recipients, Eric Wiseman, John McGee, Daniel Cross, and Randy Wynne were awarded funds for a project titled “UAV’s and Urban Forestry: A Student Service Learning Project to Identify Invasive Species“.

 

At William & Mary, Gregory Hunt was awarded funding for a project titled “Summer Collaborative Bridge: Connecting Student Summer Research Experience across Academics and Industry“.

 

Also at William & Mary, Margaret Saha was awarded funding for a project titled “Broadening Participation in Artemis-Related Research: Inclusiveness and Sustainability“.

 

2020 Innovative Projects

 

For the 2020 Innovative Projects program, fourteen awards were made totaling over $118,585. Areas of interest included: activities related to NASA’s Artemis Mission for Moon and Mars exploration; summer research experiences and service-learning experiences for undergraduate students; and teacher professional development programs. The winners are listed below:

 

William & Mary Chancellor Professor of Biology Margaret Somosi Saha was awarded funds for a project titled “Engaging Students in Space Medicine: From Remote Learning to Remote Medicine“.

 

Gregory Hunt and Rex Kincald of William & Mary were awarded funds for a project titled “Summer Collaborative Bridge: Connecting Student Summer Research Experiences across Academics and Industry“.

 

Also at William & Marry, Assoc. Professor of Physics Seth Aubin, and Professor of Physics Irina Novikova were awarded funding for a project titled “Research Experience for Undergraduates in Quantum Devices Development“.

 

Kimberly Jones Clark, Kathleen Sams, Timshel Purdum, Chuck English, and Justin Bartel of the Science Museum of Virginia Foundation were awarded funds for a project titled “What Shall We Pack for the Moon – and Mars!“.

 

Virginia Tech’s Research Assoc. Professor Carl Dietrich, Assoc. Professor Kenneth Reid, and Nicholas Polys, Director of Visual Computing were awarded funding for a project titled “Low-cost, Portable Antenna Range for Outreach and remote Instruction“.

Also from Virginia Tech, Professor Kathy Lu was awarded funding for a project titled “Summer Undergraduate Research Experience: Creating High Performance SiOC Materials Using Mars’s Abundant Natural Resources

 

Assistant Professor Pinar Acar of Virginia Tech was awarded funding for a project titled “Deep Reinforcement Learning for De Novo Computational Design of Meta-Materials

 

Virginia Tech’s Michael Hsiao was awarded funding for a project titled “Virginia Students Are Innovators“.

 

At Old Dominion University, Charles Sukenik, Richard Zimmerman, Victoria Hill were awarded Funds for a project titled “Summer Research Experience for Undergraduates: Research with Oceanographic Lidar

 

Also at Old Dominion University, Assist. Professor Sampath Jayarathna, Assoc. Professor Stacie Ringleb, Professor and Eminent Scholar Robert Ash were awarded Funds for a project titled “STRS: Student “ThinSat Research” Summer Camp 2020“.

 

At the Virginia Air and Space Center, Bob Griesmer, Executive Director/CEO, Danielle Price, Director of Programs, and Sean Flynn, Development Manager, were awarded funding for a project titled “21st Century Solar System Gallery – with Mars lander and rover experiences“.

 

At Hampton University, Assoc. Professor Brian Aufderheide and Assist. Dean of Eng. Demetris Geddis were awarded funding for an “Introduction to Engineering Class“.

 

At the University of Virginia, Geoffrey Geise, Ruthanne Porreca, Director Pre-Awards, and James Edward Davis were awarded funds for a project titled “Selective polymer membranes to enable lithium-sulfur batteries for space applications“.

 

The Virginia Department of Education’s Tina Manglicmot and David Eschelman were awarded funding for a project titled “STEM Education Across Disciplines“.

 

2019 Innovative Projects

 

This year, twelve awards were made totaling over $80,000. Areas of interest included programs that supported the Apollo 50th anniversary, summer research experiences for undergraduate students and teacher professional development programs. The winners are listed below:

 

College of William and Mary Biology professor Randy Chambers was awarded funds for two undergraduates to research greenhouse gas flux from stormwater retention ponds in order to identify ways to decrease global warming caused by methane emissions.

 

Old Dominion University’s Gon Namkoong will use funds for a research project titled “Thermal stability of perovskite solar cells using nanoparticles/polymer composites.”

 

Also at Old Dominion University, Joanna Garner’s project “Voyages and Discoveries: Cross-Generational Reflections on the Significance of Space Exploration” will bridge the divide between the Apollo and digital generations with a regional competition. Winning entries will be shown at Slover Library in Norfolk.

 

At Virginia Tech, Bevlee Watford and Kim Lester proposed another summer of Imagination Summer Camp sessions for rising seventh and eighth graders.

 

Virginia Tech will also hold a professional development workshop for high school biology, chemistry, earth science and physics teachers. James Heflin proposed this workshop, which will focus on nanoscience and nanotechnology.

 

At the University of Virginia, Gaurev Giri proposed a summer Research Experience for undergraduate students to study “Metal Organic Framework Thin Film for Electronic and Sensing Applications.”

 

Also at the University of Virginia, Max C.N. Castorani and Scott C. Doney proposed a Research Experience for one undergraduate to study “Understanding the patterns and drivers of water quality in coastal Virginia using Landsat.”

 

At the University of Virginia, Jonathan Tan will offer an undergraduate research position for the Virginia Initiative on Cosmic Origins (VICO).

 

At Southside Virginia Community College, Brent Richey will hold a camp titled “This IS Rocket Science: Remembering and Modeling Mankind’s Giant Leap.” Fifteen students will construct a rocket and launch it on July 20.

 

This summer, Thomas Nelson Community College will hold a week-long advanced robotics camp for rising third through eighth graders. Patrick Tompkins and Terry Wagner proposed this camp for area students.

 

The Virginia Air and Space Center will use funds toward designing an interactive Apollo 12 exhibition.

 

The Science Museum of Virginia will offer day camps to the “Teen Astronomer Program.” Day campers will learn about astronomy and space travel.

 

2018 Innovative Projects

 

University of Virginia professor Dr. Martin Wu was awarded funds for “Minion Detective: Detecting Microbes Around Us in Real-time.” Dr. Wu’s project involved the use of MinION nanopore DNA sequencing technology in university classes as well as in high school outreach programs.

 

ODU’s Batten College of Engineering and Technology’s project “STEM Outreach Curriculum and Engagement Kits for ODU BCET” was used to develop STEM kits incorporating hands-on activities for students K-12.

 

Princess Anne High School senior Nalin Ranjan’s proposal “Simulation of Inverse Compton Scattering and its Implications on the Scattered Linewidth and Importance to NASA” enabled him to present his research at the 2018 International Particle Accelerator Conference in Vancouver, Canada.

 

Virginia Tech professor Dr. Kevin Kochersberger, in partnership with the Soaring Society of America, developed a soaring flight introductory module titled “Introducing Motorless Flight to Youth-Now!”

 

Another Virginia Tech professor, Dr. Sheila Carter-Tod, developed “Enhancing Access Through Cyber Security: Teacher Professional Development Education and Dissemination” to provide cyber security training for teachers in 20 Virginia high schools.

 

Virginia Tech provided students the experience of “IMAGINATION ‘18”, a summer camp sponsored by Virginia Tech’s Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity (CEED).

 

Old Dominion University’s project “Composites Summer Camp (CSC): Design and Manufacturing of Advanced Lightweight Composite Materials,” provided a series of two-day summer camps for high school students focused on design and manufacture of advanced lightweight composite materials

 

Dr. Li Yaohang, of ODU was awarded funding for The Machine Learning & Data Science Summer Camp at ODU” for high school students interested in data science and machine learning.

 

Dr. Margaret Saha’s project at The College of William and Mary “Engineering Biology for Space: Engaging Teachers and Students in the Promise of Synthetic Biology” helped to educate local K-12 students and teachers about the field of synthetic biology.

 

 2017 Innovative Projects

 

Bonita Anthony at Old Dominion University received funds for “#HiddenNoMore with ODU Engineering,” a NASA partnered, on-campus event to attract and retain young women and underrepresented minorities in STEM careers.

 

Dr. Charles Sukenik, a professor at Old Dominion University, submitted a project “Supporting STEM through Undergraduate Research Experiences in Physics” that allowed five students to participate in physics-related research over the summer semester.

 

Dr. Christopher Goyne from the University of Virginia proposed “Continuity for the Virginia CubeSat Constellation Mission.” This provided five undergraduate students internships to continue work on the Virginia CubeSat Constellation project.

 

Dr. Wu He and Dr. Chunseng Xin from Old Dominion University helped to create “Cybersecurity + Computer Programming,” a new technology camp for middle school students interested in computer programming and cybersecurity.

 

Dr. Edward Murphy of the University of Virginia was funded for “Solar Eclipse Workshops,” which provided a series of educational workshops for teachers. Over 200 teachers across the state of Virginia learned about the 2017 eclipse.

 

Huseyin Sarper from Old Dominion University created a project titled “Descent Analysis of Model Rockets.” This project explored mathematical and numerical methods of model rocket descent data.

 

The Science Museum of Virginia’s project “Cosmic Climate Cookbook” was funded in order to finalize production and distribution. The digital, audio-visual production on climate science and resiliency program is for K-12 audiences.

 

Silvana Watson of Old Dominion University was awarded funding for “Scientific Argumentation in an Elementary Inclusion Classroom.” This five-day workshop focused on elementary students’ abilities to effectively use argumentation and explanatory writing in science.

 

Dr. Thomas Allen, a professor in the Political Science and Geography Department at Old Dominion University, proposed a project titled “Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) for Coastal Resources and Hazards.”  This project allowed him to acquire and test commercial-off-the-shelf UAV technology for producing geospatial data.

 

The Virginia Air and Space Center’s project “Empowering Students to Learn with Virginia Air & Space SMALLLab” project, allowed for 300 underprivileged and underrepresented students in Hampton Roads to experience the SMALLab (Situated Multimedia Arts Learning Lab) Learning Space.

2019 Innovative Projects

 

This year, twelve awards were made totaling over $80,000. Areas of interest included programs that supported the Apollo 50th anniversary, summer research experiences for undergraduate students and teacher professional development programs. The winners are listed below:

 

College of William and Mary Biology professor Randy Chambers was awarded funds for two undergraduates to research greenhouse gas flux from stormwater retention ponds in order to identify ways to decrease global warming caused by methane emissions.

 

Old Dominion University’s Gon Namkoong will use funds for a research project titled “Thermal stability of perovskite solar cells using nanoparticles/polymer composites.”

 

Also at Old Dominion University, Joanna Garner’s project “Voyages and Discoveries: Cross-Generational Reflections on the Significance of Space Exploration” will bridge the divide between the Apollo and digital generations with a regional competition. Winning entries will be shown at Slover Library in Norfolk.

 

At Virginia Tech, Bevlee Watford and Kim Lester proposed another summer of Imagination Summer Camp sessions for rising seventh and eighth graders.

 

Virginia Tech will also hold a professional development workshop for high school biology, chemistry, earth science and physics teachers. James Heflin proposed this workshop, which will focus on nanoscience and nanotechnology.

 

At the University of Virginia, Gaurev Giri proposed a summer Research Experience for undergraduate students to study “Metal Organic Framework Thin Film for Electronic and Sensing Applications.”

 

Also at the University of Virginia, Max C.N. Castorani and Scott C. Doney proposed a Research Experience for one undergraduate to study “Understanding the patterns and drivers of water quality in coastal Virginia using Landsat.”

 

At the University of Virginia, Jonathan Tan will offer an undergraduate research position for the Virginia Initiative on Cosmic Origins (VICO).

 

At Southside Virginia Community College, Brent Richey will hold a camp titled “This IS Rocket Science: Remembering and Modeling Mankind’s Giant Leap.” Fifteen students will construct a rocket and launch it on July 20.

 

This summer, Thomas Nelson Community College will hold a week-long advanced robotics camp for rising third through eighth graders. Patrick Tompkins and Terry Wagner proposed this camp for area students.

 

The Virginia Air and Space Center will use funds toward designing an interactive Apollo 12 exhibition.

 

The Science Museum of Virginia will offer day camps to the “Teen Astronomer Program.” Day campers will learn about astronomy and space travel.

 

2018 Innovative Projects

 

University of Virginia professor Dr. Martin Wu was awarded funds for “Minion Detective: Detecting Microbes Around Us in Real-time.” Dr. Wu’s project involved the use of MinION nanopore DNA sequencing technology in university classes as well as in high school outreach programs.

 

ODU’s Batten College of Engineering and Technology’s project “STEM Outreach Curriculum and Engagement Kits for ODU BCET” was used to develop STEM kits incorporating hands-on activities for students K-12.

 

Princess Anne High School senior Nalin Ranjan’s proposal “Simulation of Inverse Compton Scattering and its Implications on the Scattered Linewidth and Importance to NASA” enabled him to present his research at the 2018 International Particle Accelerator Conference in Vancouver, Canada.

 

Virginia Tech professor Dr. Kevin Kochersberger, in partnership with the Soaring Society of America, developed a soaring flight introductory module titled “Introducing Motorless Flight to Youth-Now!”

 

Another Virginia Tech professor, Dr. Sheila Carter-Tod, developed “Enhancing Access Through Cyber Security: Teacher Professional Development Education and Dissemination” to provide cyber security training for teachers in 20 Virginia high schools.

 

Virginia Tech provided students the experience of “IMAGINATION ‘18”, a summer camp sponsored by Virginia Tech’s Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity (CEED).

 

Old Dominion University’s project “Composites Summer Camp (CSC): Design and Manufacturing of Advanced Lightweight Composite Materials,” provided a series of two-day summer camps for high school students focused on design and manufacture of advanced lightweight composite materials

 

Dr. Li Yaohang, of ODU was awarded funding for The Machine Learning & Data Science Summer Camp at ODU” for high school students interested in data science and machine learning.

 

Dr. Margaret Saha’s project at The College of William and Mary “Engineering Biology for Space: Engaging Teachers and Students in the Promise of Synthetic Biology” helped to educate local K-12 students and teachers about the field of synthetic biology.

 

 2017 Innovative Projects

 

Bonita Anthony at Old Dominion University received funds for “#HiddenNoMore with ODU Engineering,” a NASA partnered, on-campus event to attract and retain young women and underrepresented minorities in STEM careers.

 

Dr. Charles Sukenik, a professor at Old Dominion University, submitted a project “Supporting STEM through Undergraduate Research Experiences in Physics” that allowed five students to participate in physics-related research over the summer semester.

 

Dr. Christopher Goyne from the University of Virginia proposed “Continuity for the Virginia CubeSat Constellation Mission.” This provided five undergraduate students internships to continue work on the Virginia CubeSat Constellation project.

 

Dr. Wu He and Dr. Chunseng Xin from Old Dominion University helped to create “Cybersecurity + Computer Programming,” a new technology camp for middle school students interested in computer programming and cybersecurity.

 

Dr. Edward Murphy of the University of Virginia was funded for “Solar Eclipse Workshops,” which provided a series of educational workshops for teachers. Over 200 teachers across the state of Virginia learned about the 2017 eclipse.

 

Huseyin Sarper from Old Dominion University created a project titled “Descent Analysis of Model Rockets.” This project explored mathematical and numerical methods of model rocket descent data.

 

The Science Museum of Virginia’s project “Cosmic Climate Cookbook” was funded in order to finalize production and distribution. The digital, audio-visual production on climate science and resiliency program is for K-12 audiences.

 

Silvana Watson of Old Dominion University was awarded funding for “Scientific Argumentation in an Elementary Inclusion Classroom.” This five-day workshop focused on elementary students’ abilities to effectively use argumentation and explanatory writing in science.

 

Dr. Thomas Allen, a professor in the Political Science and Geography Department at Old Dominion University, proposed a project titled “Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) for Coastal Resources and Hazards.”  This project allowed him to acquire and test commercial-off-the-shelf UAV technology for producing geospatial data.

 

The Virginia Air and Space Center’s project “Empowering Students to Learn with Virginia Air & Space SMALLLab” project, allowed for 300 underprivileged and underrepresented students in Hampton Roads to experience the SMALLab (Situated Multimedia Arts Learning Lab) Learning Space.