West Virginia Aerospace and Engineering Scholar


*The West Virginia Aerospace and Engineering Scholars Experience will not be held in 2014.  The College of Science and Technology looks forward to pursuing this endeavor in the future.*


The West Virginia Space Grant Consortium and Mid-Atlantic Aerospace Complex are partnering with NASA Johnson Space Center to provide the exciting opportunity of a NASA-based science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) educational program for high school juniors in West Virginia.

The West Virginia Aerospace and Engineering Scholars, a partnership of NASA Aerospace Scholars, is a competitive program that allows high school juniors to apply to take an engaging online NASA-developed course using a Space Exploration theme to teach a broad range of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics skills aligned with West Virginia's Content Standards and Objectives. Based on their course performance, scholars may be selected to participate in an all expense paid, three-day residential academy at Fairmont State University during the first week of August.

Coursework is offered online from May through July. This graded course consists of eleven lessons and a final project that allow students to build their knowledge of NASA, space exploration, and key STEM skills. Master Educators will work with students online throughout the course.

STEM Innovation Center

Distance Learning


Eleven lesson modules have been compiled to expand students’ knowledge, to prepare the Scholars for their three-day Summer Academy at Fairmont State University, and to familiarize them with aerospace exploration. Learning will take place through weekly reading assignments, simulations, viewing video segments, and participating in online discussions. Learning will be demonstrated through completion of case study analysis, technology design activities, quizzes, participation in online discussions, essays, and a final scientific report. These activities are submitted in sequential order, every week and posted through the WVAES online course website. All activities within the modules are reviewed and evaluated by a certified West Virginia educator through the online system and detailed feedback is provided.

Sample Module

Once students have been accepted to the WVAES program, they will receive instructions on how to complete and submit each module assignment. All WVAES modules are aligned to the following standards for students in grades 9-12.

  • 21st Century Science 9-12 Content Standards and Objectives for West Virginia Schools
  • 21st Century Mathematics Content Standards and Objectives for West Virginia Schools
  • 21st Century Learning Skills and Technology Tools Content Standards and Objectives for West Virginia Schools
  • Alternate Academic Achievement Standards for West Virginia Schools
  • National Educational Technology Standards
  • National Council of Teacher of Mathematics (NCTM) Standards
  • International Technology Education Association (ITEA)
  • National Science Education Standards (NSES)

Online Discussions/Chat Room

Scholars participate with mentors, WVAES staff, their instructors, and each other in on-line discussions during the class. These online discussions focus on current aerospace science and technology that support NASA’s vision for space exploration. As part of the course assessment, Scholars are expected to participate in these discussions.

Final Projects

Scholars who are chosen to participate in the Summer Academy submit a final project before arriving at Fairmont State University in the summer. These projects represent the culmination of knowledge gained from the online modules and prepare the students for their work at the Summer Academy where they will work collaboratively. The Scholars will choose their project topic based upon their interests and team assignment. Teams are assigned mid-way through the online course.

Science Elective Credit

If selected students participate in the distance learning coursework and complete the Summer Academy program, school districts will be encouraged to grant a science elective credit towards graduation. The final decision regarding any credit rests with the student's school system.

Who Can Apply?

Students from across the state of West Virginia are selected to participate through a competitive application process. In order to participate students must:

  • Be a U.S. Citizen and West Virginia resident
  • Be currently in their junior year of high school and at least 16 years of age
  • Have interest in or an aptitude for math, science, engineering, or technology
  • Have a minimum GPA of 2.7
  • Commit to a one-year relationship with WVAES, including a designated three-day residential Summer Academy experience
  • Have access to email and the Internet (home, school, or public library)


What is the timeline?

  • Early in the Academic Year: West Virginia schools receive information describing the program and guidelines
  • October/November : Interested students complete online application
  • November: Application deadline
  • Mid December: Students notified by email of their acceptance into the program and information on the distance learning course
  • December - May: Students engage in distance learning assignments and online discussions to learn more about space exploration, mentors, and the other participants
  • Late May: Students are selected for the summer program based on completion of lessons, quality of work, and timeliness
  • First Week of August: Summer Academy at Fairmont State University

Follow-Up Commitment

As a WVAES Scholar, once the distance learning activities are finished and the Summer Academy ended, the responsibility continues. Scholars are encouraged to:

  • Maintain an e-mail relationship with their team mentor
  • Stay in touch with fellow scholars
  • Continue to visit the WVAES web site
  • Recommend the program to others
  • Help recruit new students
  • Participate in on-line discussions or through email correspondence for new students
  • Continue contact with WVAES, as required, and maintain information concerning their choice of college, choice of major, and post-graduation plans.

Contact information

Science and Technology
E-Mail: scitech@fairmontstate.edu
Phone: 304.367.4246