Summer Academy Information

Summer Academy Weeks

  •  June 22-28, 2024
  • July 13-19, 2024
  • July 27-August 2, 2024

Students are selected for the VASTS Summer Academy in May. Selections will be made based on VASTS Online Course performance. Students that are selected to attend the VASTS Summer Academy will be given a chance to rank their preferred weeks of attendance and VASTS program staff will do their best to accommodate all student week preferences.

Students are housed at a local University with access to Newport News, VA. Scholars will arrive at the University in Newport News, Virginia on Saturday and depart on Friday afternoon directly from NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA. Students’ belongings will be with them when they depart from NASA Langley Research Center.

Please take time to review the information below and contact us if you have any further questions.

What you need to know prior to your visit to the VASTS Summer Academy:

Saturday Arrival

Students should arrive at the University between 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. on Saturday of the Academy to which the are assigned. Specific dorm information will be sent to the students prior to the Academy.

NOTE: Students will NOT be able to access their vehicle during the week if they drive themselves. We prefer that parents/guardians drop off and pick up their children.



VASTS program staff will be in the lobby to register students. Rooms are pre-assigned and may NOT be changed or traded with another student. Each room will house two same sex students. Master Teachers stay in rooms on the same floor as the students and serve as chaperones.



Students are required to be under the supervision of the VASTS program staff, teachers or mentors at all times.

A VASTS program representative will stay at the dorms throughout the duration of the program and is responsible for VASTS interaction with the University. Students and teachers report any problems to this person.



All meals are provided for students during the Summer Academy. Students may choose to bring additional snacks but may not bring snacks containing nuts for the safety of all other scholars.



Students are not allowed to wear shorts during the day and during planned evening activities. Students should dress appropriately, clean and pressed t-shirts (no slogans) with jeans or khakis. Boys must wear belts and tuck in their shirts, no hats or caps are to be worn during the week. Button shirts or polo shirts with sleeves are acceptable and preferred. Only closed toe shoes or sneakers will be permitted. Girls should not wear skirts during the week because of the facility tours, which may require some climbing and bending.


For the Closing Ceremony the Scholars will wear their provided VASTS polo shirts and clean pressed khakis or skirts. Dress shoes are appropriate as the event is business casual.


Cell Phones

Cellular phones are permitted but must be turned off at all times during the Academy. If a phone call is absolutely necessary, please do so only during breaks or lunch. In the case of an emergency when a parent or guardian must reach you, they can call the VASTS program staff. Program staff phone numbers will be provided in final email correspondence prior to the Academy and in provided student manuals.



You will be transported to and from the lodging facility by bus or van. Observe all bus rules regarding conduct while aboard. While onsite at NASA LaRC you will be transported on occasion by van. Always wear your seatbelt.


Visitor Badges

NASA LaRC issues a temporary identification badge at the beginning of the Academy. You must wear this badge at all times when at NASA LaRC. The badge should be attached to the provided VASTS lanyard and worn around the neck. Report lost badges immediately to the VASTS program staff. Visitor badges are returned to VASTS program staff at the end of the Summer Academy at check-out.


The purpose of this policy is to state in advance the plan to insure proper discipline for Virginia Aerospace Science and Technology Scholars (VASTS). This policy will be used for handling all disciplinary actions during the weeklong Summer Academy at NASA LaRC. Virginia Space Grant Consortium and NASA LaRC endorse a zero-tolerance policy toward misbehavior and/or disregarding stated rules or safety instructions. Therefore the following procedures will be followed in the event of a problem with student conduct.


1.Any blatant disregard of the rules of conduct, inappropriate or unsafe behavior will result in the student being called into the Program Manager’s office for a documented verbal warning and a phone call to parents. Inappropriate actions that merit immediate disciplinary action will result in student being sent home without a warning.

2.Warning and phone conversation will be documented and reviewed with appropriate VASTS program staff, teacher and mentor.

3.No other warning will be given. Any other disruption or misbehavior will result in student being sent home.

Rules of Conduct

You will be sent home for:

1.Leaving the accompaniment of a chaperone (mentor, teacher, VSGC program staff or NASA LaRC personnel) at any time, for any reason, without permission.

2.Unacceptable behavior (not following any staff or teacher’s directions, fighting, public displays of affection, profanity, failing to adhere to the dress code or rules of conduct, safety and technology use rules).

3.Accessing your car.

4.Leaving your room after curfew for any reason.

5.Damage to any property (You are also held financially responsible).

6.Stealing (from NASA, giftshops, dorms, or restaurants).

7.Drinking alcohol or smoking.

Closing Event and Awards

Emails will be sent to students accepted to the Summer Academy in the late spring with details

At the conclusion of the Summer Academy, a closing event and reception will be held in the NASA Langley Reid Conference Center beginning at 1:30 p.m. In addition to the scholars, teachers and mentors, invited guests will include parents, legislators, NASA senior staff, and other VIPs. Scholars will be contacted by VSGC staff prior to the Academy to obtain guests names for badging. All students and guests must be U.S. Citizens in order to obtain a visitor badge. Family members who are Lawful Permanent Residents of the United States must begin the process to acquire a visitor badge for the Closing Ceremony in advance of the Summer Academy week that their student attends.


Upon completion of the Summer Academy, each participant will receive the following:

● Certificate of completion for participating in the Virginia Aerospace Science and Technology Scholars program

● VASTS program polo shirt(s)

● Presentation packet

What To Bring

● Camera: There are many photo opportunities during on-site tours of NASA Langley Research Center. It is suggested that you bring a camera and take advantage of this great opportunity to capture the past, present, and future of the space program!

● Laptop (optional but highly recommended)

● USB Flashdrive

● Clothing Iron

● Scientific or graphing calculator

● Light Jacket or sweater: Some rooms at NASA LARC are very cold, so come prepared.

● Spending Money: All meals, transportation while at the Summer Academy, and lodging are provided for students and teachers. Spending money should be brought for items such as additional snacks and souvenirs.

Directions to NASA Langley Research Center

Norfolk International Airport to NASA Langley Research Center

  1. Depart from Norfolk International Airport, VA – 0.4 mi
  2. Turn left onto Norview Ave – 0.8 mi
  3. Keep straight onto SR-247 / Norview Ave – 0.4 mi
  4. Take ramp right for I-64 West / Hampton Roads Beltway toward Richmond / Hampton – 17.3 mi
  5. At exit 262B, take ramp right for SR-134 North / Magruder Blvd toward Poquoson / NASA – 2.1 mi
  6. Take ramp right for SR-172 North / Commander Shepard Blvd toward NASA / LAFB – 1.1 mi
  7. Turn right onto Langley Blvd – 0.1 mi
  8. Arrive at NASA Langley Badge & Pass Office

Route: 22.1 miles, 29 minutes

Newport News-Williamsburg International Airport to NASA Langley Research Center

  1. Depart toward Bland Blvd – 0.2 mi
  2. Keep straight onto Bland Blvd – 0.3 mi
  3. Turn left onto SR-143 East / Jefferson Ave – 1.1 mi
  4. Take ramp right for I-64 East toward Norfolk / Hampton – 6.7 mi
  5. At exit 261B, take ramp right and follow signs for Hampton Roads Center Pkwy – 1.2 mi
  6. Take ramp right and follow signs for Magruder Blvd / SR-134 – 0.2 mi
  7. Turn left onto SR-134 North / Magruder Blvd – 1.3 mi
  8. Take ramp right for SR-172 North / Commander Shepard Blvd toward NASA / LAFB – 1.1 mi
  9. Turn right onto Langley Blvd – 0.1 mi
  10. Arrive at NASA Langley Badge & Pass Office

Route: 12.0 miles, 18 minutes