The Virginia Aerospace Science and Technology Scholars (VASTS) program is an interactive on-line science, technology, engineering and mathematics learning experience highlighted by a seven-day residential summer academy at NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC) in Hampton, Va. Students selected to participate in the program are immersed in NASA-related research through interaction with scientists, engineers and technologists.
Students from across the state of Virginia are selected to participate through a competitive application process. In order to participate students must:
● Be a U.S. Citizen and Virginia resident
● Be currently in their junior or senior year of high school and at least 16 years of age
● Have interest in or an aptitude for math, science, engineering, or technology
● Have a minimum GPA of 2.7
● Have access to email and the Internet (home, school, or public library)
*Permanent residents may apply for the course; however, NASA security restrictions typically preclude non-citizen participation in the summer academies.
During the school year, scholars will complete seven web-based modules. The modules begin in December and are due every two weeks. Based upon the content of each module, Scholars will provide solutions to real-world questions and design upgrades to be used on the International Space Station (ISS), Design a new Crew Exploration Vehicle, and participate in discussion forums on current space-related topics with other Scholars to hone their technical writing skills. Upon successful completion of the on-line course, scholars who perform well in the course may be selected to attend a week-long Summer Academy at NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va. which will include:
● A team project in which students design a human mission to Mars
● Tours of NASA Langley facilities
● Mentoring by NASA engineers, scientists, and technologists
● Participation in hands-on scientific and engineering activities
● Briefings and seminars by astronauts, engineers, scientists and other NASA experts
School districts may chose to grant a science elective credit towards graduation for students who successfully complete the online program and Summer Academy. This is entirely at the discretion of the individual school district. Scholars who are selected for the week-long academy at NASA Langley Research Center are provided transportation, housing, and meals during their stay.
Complete the requirements located on the Application Instructions page. The application deadline is November 10, 2019 at 11:55PM. If your application is accepted for the program, you will be notified via email before November 15th and provided with log-in information to begin working on the online curriculum. Each of the seven modules and final project will be graded using the rubrics at the end of each lesson. Scholars are selected for the Summer Academy based on timely completion of all assignments, quality of work, participation in online discussions, and the final grade.
August – September: Virginia schools receive information describing the program and guidelines
September – October: Interested students complete online application
November 10, 2019 at 11:55PM: Application deadline
November 15, 2019: Students notified by email of their acceptance to the program and information on the distance learning course
December 2019 – April 2020: Students engage in distance learning assignments and on-line discussions to learn more about space exploration, NASA LaRC mentors, and the other participants
May 2020: Students are selected for the summer program based on completion of lessons, quality of work, and timeliness
On-site Summer Academy at NASA Langley Research Center:
● Week 1: June 13-19, 2020
● Week 2: July 11-17, 2020
● Week 3: July 25-31, 2020
Mr. Ian Cawthray, VASTS Education Program Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org phone: 757-766-5210
Ms. Priscilla Hill, VASTS Program Assistant email@example.com phone: 757-766-5210
Ms. Rudo Kashiri, VASTS Program Manager firstname.lastname@example.org phone: 757-766-5210