P.O. BOX 2120



February 1, 2008



Division Superintendents



Billy K. Cannaday, Jr.

Superintendent of Public Instruction



NASA STEM Educational Outreach Program


Virginia Space Grant Consortium and NASA Langley Research Center, with the assistance of the Virginia Department of Education, are partnering to provide an exciting new pilot opportunity for high school students in Virginia in 2008.


Virginia Aerospace Science and Technology Scholars is a competitive program that allows high school juniors to apply for an engaging NASA-developed course using a Space Exploration theme. Online coursework will teach a broad range of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills aligned with Virginia and national Standards of Learning. After successfully completing the course, scholars participate in an all-expense-paid, six-day residential academy at NASA Langley Research Center. The program seeks to broaden students' STEM knowledge, while providing meaningful, real-world experiences and career role models.


The Virginia Aerospace Science and Technology Scholars coursework is offered online from April through June 2008. This graded course consists of ten lessons and a final project that allow students to build their knowledge of NASA and space exploration and key STEM skills. Master educators will work with students online throughout the course, providing ongoing communication and feedback on assignments, quizzes, and the final project. Students can view the coursework at the Virginia Aerospace Science and Technology Scholars Web site,


Students selected for the residential NASA Summer Academy will spend six days with science, engineering and technology mentors and master educators at NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, from July 27 August 1, 2008. They will undertake a mentored team aerospace mission and will be immersed in hands-on, experiential STEM activities. Students will receive certificates for successful completion of online coursework and the summer academy experience.


Virginia Aerospace Scholars is modeled after the NASA award-winning Texas Aerospace Scholars program sponsored by NASA Johnson Space Center and the State of Texas. Coursework is provided by NASA Johnson Space Center.


To apply, students must:

         Be a high school junior with an interest in science, technology, engineering or mathematics;

         Be a Virginia resident and U.S. citizen;

         Have a minimum GPA of 2.7;

         Be at least 16 years of age; and

         Have Internet access and e-mail to complete online assignments.


Additional background information and application forms can be found at The application deadline is March 14, 2008. For further information, please contact Paula Klonowski, by e-mail at, or telephone at (804) 371-0249.