Press Release

NASA Invites Virginia Students to Become 2011 Aerospace Scholars

By SpaceRef Editor
September 29, 2010
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NASA Invites Virginia Students to Become 2011 Aerospace Scholars

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 fourth 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 program is open to high school juniors, including homeschoolers, across the Commonwealth. Deadline for application is Nov. 5.

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:

“This program has prepared me by opening my eyes to the type of requirements that I must meet in order to pursue a career in math and science,” said Iriat Faisal of George C. Mason High School in Bridgewater, Va.

“I loved the academy,” said Courtney Maimon from Osbourn Park High School in Manassas, Va. “Everyone here is so driven. It’s fun getting to work with people who have the same interests as me.”

“The curriculum helped me improve many of my skills, such as focusing, writing, communicating with others and listening to what other people have to say,” said Anthony Guadino-Sullivan from West Springfield High School in Springfield, Va. “The academy prepared me to think the impossible can be done, to respect others’ ideas and input and taught me the importance of teamwork.”

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 industry partners.

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

SpaceRef staff editor.