Online Course

The Virginia Space Coast Scholars (VSCS) program is a dynamic, informal online learning experience for high school sophomores. With a focus on scientific exploration, students will be introduced to the science, engineering, and technology concepts that are integral to earth and space-based missions launched or conducted from Virginia’s Space Coast on the Eastern Shore. Students who successfully complete the online course may be invited to attend a seven-day, residential summer academy at Wallops Flight Facility.

Program Goals:

● Increase the number of students that pipeline into VESSS, VASTS, and other STEM programs and activities

● Positively affect the choice of classes for high school and college coursework for the future

● Apply skills learned in VSCS to high school coursework

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


How much time is involved?

Some of our graduates in the online course have said that the time commitment for the course work is about three to four hours per week depending on the student.  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 STEM teacher who is familiar with online instruction.

The first four modules contain a reading assignment, a technical report written in APA format, a quiz based on a 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 the student designs.

This course could possibly satisfy a high school online course that is required for high school graduation, but it is up to the school division to determine eligibility.  Students can print off the course syllabus and show their school division.

Please click 2021- 2022 syllabus to see the VSCS Online Course syllabus


Important Dates

August 15, 2021: Application opens

October 17, 2021: Application deadline

November 8,  2021: 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.

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