Press Release

NASA Invites Virginia Students To Become 2010 Aerospace Scholars

By SpaceRef Editor
September 18, 2009
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HAMPTON, Va. — Are you looking for an experience that is out of this world? Planning a mission to Mars and gaining college credit are just two perks high school juniors in Virginia can experience through The Virginia Aerospace Science and Technology Scholars (VASTS) program.

The program, in its third year at NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., is now accepting applications for its interactive on-line science, technology, engineering, and math program. The semester-long curriculum teaches students about aerospace exploration. Learning takes place through simulations, weekly reading assignments, online games, video segments and online quizzes. The free program is open to high school juniors, including home-schoolers, across the Commonwealth. Deadline for application is Nov. 6.

Based on course performance, scholars may be selected to spend a week at NASA Langley where they will work with scientists and engineers, design and build robotic rovers, learn about NASA careers and plan a human mission to Mars.

Student comments are the best testimonial for the program:

“The program has given me more knowledge about how space systems work and how NASA operates,” said William Clement, a student from Ocean Lakes High School in Virginia Beach, Va. “It has been incredible preparation for an actual job.”

“I have learned more about group dynamics and the importance of compromise,” said Brooke Mueller, a West Springfield High School student from Springfield, Va. “It has been an amazing experience.”

“The experience gave me more confidence about my future, and I enjoyed the opportunity to be surrounded by others with the same interest,” said Tyler Anderson from Patrick Henry High School in Roanoke, Va.

Upon completion of the program, students can receive up to four college credits from Thomas Nelson Community College.

The Virginia Aerospace Science and Technology Scholars program uses a NASA-developed curriculum with a space-based theme and is aligned with Virginia Standards of Learning. Master educators work with students online, providing guidance and feedback on assignments.

VASTS is a partnership between the Virginia Space Grant Consortium and NASA Langley Research Center with assistance from the Virginia Department of Education and additional support from the Commonwealth of Virginia and industry partners.

For more information on the VASTS program and for an application, visit:

SpaceRef staff editor.