Superintendent’s Memo #288-12

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

October 19, 2012

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT:  The 2012-2013 Virginia Aerospace Science and Technology Scholars Program

The NASA Langley Research Center and the Virginia Space Grant Consortium (VSGC) are pleased to announce the prestigious 2012-2013 Virginia Aerospace Science and Technology Scholars (VASTS) program for high school juniors.  VASTS is a free online, problem-based STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) course scheduled during the 2013 spring semester.

The curricular goals of the program are as follows:

The course consists of eight modules and a final project beginning in December 2012 through May 2013.  Master educators work with students online throughout the course, providing ongoing communication and feedback on assignments, quizzes, and the final project.  Students who successfully complete the online course may be invited to participate in a week-long residential summer academy at NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA, where they will spend seven days with STEM mentors and master educators in the summer of 2013.  They will undertake a mentored team aerospace mission and will be immersed in hands-on experiential STEM activities.  Four college credits are offered for students who successfully complete the entire program:  two college credits for the online course and two additional credits for the summer academy.

See for the online application, program information, and timeline.  The application deadline is November 2, 2012.  For additional information about the program, view the VASTS program video at VASTSYoutube.

Who is eligible to apply?

We would greatly appreciate your help in circulating the attached materials to the appropriate faculty in your school division.  If you have questions or need additional information, please contact Wendy Keene, by e-mail at, or by telephone at (757) 766-5210.