Program Description:

The VSCS online course consists of five NASA-developed modules compiled to expand students’ knowledge of aerospace history, science, exploration and technology, and prepare the Scholars for participation in a Summer Academy at NASA Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, VA. Learning will take place through weekly reading assignments, simulations, viewing video segments, conducting engineering design challenges, and participating in online discussions. Learning will be demonstrated through completion of case study analyses, real-world math application problems, quizzes, participation in online discussions, essays, and a capstone experience. These activities are submitted in sequential order every four weeks and posted through the VSCS online course website. All activities within the modules are reviewed and evaluated by a certified Virginia educator through the online system with detailed feedback provided.

Teacher Qualifications:  We are looking for teachers with the following experience:

  • Current Virginia resident or teach in a Virginia school
  • Formal education experience teaching earth science, aviation, and/or integrative STEM education, preferred
  • Previous participation in online courses as student and teacher
  • Ability to attend mandatory Master Teacher Training, November 30th, in Hampton, VA
  • Moodle coursework/programming a plus

Facilitation of Online Coursework
The Master Teacher will facilitate the VSCS online coursework for approximately 30 Scholars in preparation for the potential participation in the Summer Academies at NASA Wallops Flight Facility (WFF) in Wallops Island, VA. The purpose of the VSCS program is to provide online coursework for the Scholars to acquire knowledge of NASA, Earth and Aerospace exploration, and key STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) skills. The top 120 performing Scholars from across Virginia who successfully complete the coursework will attend a seven-day, residential program in which they will undertake a teamed-aerospace mission design project at WFF.

The objective of the VSCS coursework and Summer Academy is to create a pipeline to STEM-related higher education studies and aerospace-related fields by providing relevant content and experiences on aspects of designing and conducting missions launched or integrated at WFF, mostly focused on Earth Science-related missions. Students will be exposed to NASA professionals who serve as career role models. Master Teachers for the Summer Academies will be chosen from instructors facilitating the online coursework. Master Teachers report to Kirsten Manning, VSCS STEM Education Program Coordinator – Virginia Space Grant Consortium.

Master Teacher Stipend: $1800 for online course content grading and forum participation

Period of Performance: November 30, 2018 – May 31, 2019

• Grade modules submitted by the scholars and final project in a timely manner using prescribed performance rubrics. Online course module assignments that the students complete are due every  two weeks beginning in December. See Student Important Dates for module content due dates.
• Provide personalized and timely feedback (within one week of submission) of assignments using the Moodle online coursework management website. Input grades into the system. Include comments regarding exemplary work and areas that need improvement when necessary. Provide examples of how work could be improved.
• Monitor scholar’ performance, quality of assignments, online posts, and replies within the discussion forums. Contact students individually as needed. Send Kirsten Manning copies of correspondence via email, if concerns arise.
• Ensure online discussions are appropriate and topic-relevant. Address students individually through email if breach of online etiquette occurs. Send Kirsten Manning copies of such correspondence via email.
• Maintain performance data and tracking of student performance using the online system. Alert Kirsten Manning of students who are falling behind on assignments and noting the follow-up taken.
• Correspond with VSCS scholars and NASA mentors through online discussion forums, synchronous chat sessions, and email through the Moodle site.
• Complete Mid-Course and Post-Course evaluation surveys.

VSCS Coursework Training:
A mandatory training session will be held at Virginia Space Grant Consortium in Hampton, VA, on November 30, 2018, from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM.

Travel for the training session will be reimbursed and lodging with meal allowance provided, if needed, for teachers living outside a 50-mile radius from Virginia Space Grant Consortium. Lunch will be provided during the training session. Lodging will be provided on Friday evening upon request. VSGC will make arrangements and payment.