Engaging, Dynamic, Fun

Course Outcomes:

•  Understand the big picture of space exploration, including the history of spaceflight, organizations doing work in space,  and the overall space environment.

• Understand how spacecraft, rockets, and launch vehicles are designed and built.

• Understand the latest advances in space technology.

• Explore career opportunities in aviation and space.

• Develop time management skills, organizational skills, writing and communication skills and other necessary skills needed in an online learning environment

Summer Academy dates for 2018:

Week 1:  June 23-June 29

Week 2:  July 7-13

Week 3:  July 28-August 3


Online Experience:

This is a dynamic, informal learning environment where students progress through a series of five modules to learn about NASA's Earth and Airborne Sciences orbital and suborbital missions that are conducted or launched from Virginia's Space Coast. Students have the opportunity to:

  • understand mission-related aerodynamic, science and physics concepts
  • be connected with the latest information about NASA missions and discoveries
  • develop time management skills, technical writing skills, and learn about NASA opportunities for students

Students are given four weeks to complete the activities within each module. After module one opens, the other modules open sequentially every four weeks. Each module has a theme around which the content is concentrated. Within each module, students are introduced to:

  • the connection between science and technology for orbital and suborbital science missions
  • how science drives the engineering and technology designs and decisions for flying payload on high altitude research balloons, sounding rockets, unmanned aerial systems, aircraft, or medium-class rockets
  • Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) careers associated with NASA's current missions


Scholars may access the course site by clicking this link.  Requires username and password.

Important Information Regarding the Online Course and Acceptance into the Summer Academy

Completing the online course does not guarantee a slot into the Summer Academy.  We would love to be able to offer the Summer Academy to every scholar who completes the program.  However, space and funding really limit our capabilities.  Scholars do benefit greatly from the online course!  The course provides students with exciting enrichment that they do not receive in a traditional classroom environment.  Students will develop their time management skills, their technical writing skills, and increase their awareness of NASA opportunities that are available to them.  Some of our graduates of the online course have said that the time commitment for the coursework is about  four hours per week.  Some students will spend more time - some will spend less time.  Remember, you will get out of the course what you decide to put into it!  Students are supported in their coursework by a Master Teacher, a Virginia classroom teacher who is familiar with online instruction.

The first 4 modules each contain a reading assignment, a technical report, an engineering design challenge, a quiz based on the reading assignment, and a math or graphing assignment.  All of these assignments are NASA related and are very interactive with video clips and discussion board topics.  The final module is a culminating paper in which the student writes a technical report about a science mission that he/she designs. 

This course may satisfy the high school graduation requirement of an online course.  Upon request from the student, a course syllabus will be mailed to the student's counselor for review.  The school system will make the decision to offer high school credit for the class.


Moon and ISS ahead

Summer Academy Experience:

Students who successfully complete the online experience may qualify to be invited to attend a seven-day, residential Summer Academy at NASA Wallops Flight Facility in August. At the Summer Academy, students will apply the basic project management skills acquired during the online experience to real-world, hands-on scenarios tied to NASA Wallops Flight Facility current missions.  Students will be mentored and taught by NASA and aerospace industry scientists and engineers who will share their knowledge and skills throughout the week.

Check out the Summer Academy page for more information.