COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

P.O. BOX 2120

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120

SUPTS. MEMO NO. 227

September 12, 2008

INFORMATIONAL

TO:

Division Superintendents

 

FROM:

Billy K. Cannaday, Jr.

Superintendent of Public Instruction

 

SUBJECT:

Virginia Aerospace Science and Technology Scholars

 

The Virginia Space Grant Consortium and NASA Langley Research Center and the Virginia Department of Education are partnering to provide an exciting opportunity for high school students in Virginia in 2009.

 

The Virginia Aerospace Science and Technology Scholars Program 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. After successfully completing the course, scholars have the opportunity to 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 December 2008 through May 2009. 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 website, www.vasts.spacegrant.org.

 

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, in the summer of 2009. 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 www.vasts.spacegrant.org. The application deadline is November 14, 2008. For further information, please contact Paula Klonowski, science coordinator, Office of Middle and High School Instruction, by e-mail at Paula.Klonowski@doe.virginia.gov or telephone at (804) 371-0249.

 

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