The Virginia Earth System Science Scholars (VESSS) program, offered by the Virginia Space Grant Consortium (VSGC), has received the prestigious 2019 Programs That Work Award from the Virginia Mathematics & Science Coalition (VMSC). The award recognizes exemplary science and integrated science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programs for which there is evidence of a positive impact on student learning.

The Virginia Earth System Science Scholars (VESSS) program challenges the next generation of scientists and engineers to become part of the solution to one of the most significant issues faced by society: climate change and its global impacts. The VESSS program is an interactive online science, technology, engineering, and mathematics learning experience for Virginia high school juniors and seniors, which engages students in NASA’s satellite missions designed to improve understanding of our own planet’s complex systems through the power of remote sensing. Using data from the latest cut-edge technology,  students selected to participate in the program are immersed in NASA-related research and satellite mission design through interaction with NASA scientists, engineers, and technologists. Successful completion of the course is highlighted by a seven-day residential summer academy at NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. Students can earn up to FIVE free, transferable, dual-enrolled college credits through Virginia Peninsula Community College (VPCC).


Who can Apply?

-Must be a Virginia Resident

-Must be a United States Citizen

-High School Junior or Senior

-Minimum of a 2.7 GPA

The program is a partnership between the Virginia Space Grant Consortium, NASA Langley Research Center, and the Commonwealth of Virginia.  Virginia Peninsula Community College is partnering to provide up to five free dual enrollment transferable college credits.


Funding for the Virginia Earth System Science Scholars (VESSS) program provided by the Commonwealth of Virginia, Howmet Aerospace Foundation, the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME), and the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA).


Read more on our partners’ page.


VESSS course sign-in

VESSS course flyer 

Important dates

VESSS is awesome!


Why do VESSS? video