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NASA Wallops Signs Space Act Agreement to Support STEM Outreach

Earlier this year, NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility reaffirmed a 25-year relationship with the Virginia Space Flight Academy (VASFA) through the signing of a new Space Act Agreement. This formal partnership provides outreach opportunities for youth, including a residential space adventure camp each summer.

“Wallops is proud to continue our 25-year partnership with VASFA,” said Wallops Director David Pierce. “The camp programs bring local and regional youth to the facility and our subject matter experts look forward to providing behind-the-scenes tours to support the development of the next generation of aerospace professionals.”

A girl wearing a headset looks towards the camera while sitting in front a a computer console in the range control center. A white water bottle with a blue, red and white NASA meatball sticker sits on the desk in front of her. The red top of the water bottle is closed tightly.
VASFA campers attend behind the scenes tours of the facility, and learn from different subject matter experts in each location- including the Range Control Center
Virginia Space Flight Academy

 VASFA was launched in 1998 as one of six projects initiated by the Eastern Shore Regional Partnership. The goal was to offer quality summer camp experiences for local youth by leveraging the high-tech activities being conducted at Wallops, the Virginia Spaceport Authority (then known as the Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority), NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), and the United States Navy. Based on the success of the pilot camps, the nonprofit organization was officially established in 2000 and has continued to lead the program.

two young girls are looking at a small robot on a work table. The robot appears to be made of legos and has two black wheels
Two summer camp participants work together during a robotics challenge
Virginia Space Flight Academy

Since then, over 6,000 youth have attended summer camp, with many campers returning to camp as staff. Camp staff members have had the opportunity to leverage their camp experiences to secure internships and employment with NASA and other aerospace partners. An additional 1,000 students have been served by a new series of year-round STEM Academy programming that was launched in 2021.

a group of 40 people, mostly youth celebrate with raised arms and large smiles on a stage in front of a screen showing a Virginia Space Flight Academy logo and a Spirit of Virginia logo.
Virginia Space Flight Academy campers and staff celebrate being honored with a Spirit of Virginia award at the end of a camp graduation ceremony.
NASA/ Jamie Adkins

During the 2023 summer camp season, campers had the opportunity to participate in a few unique experiences. At the July 28 Advanced Aerospace Camp graduation ceremony, the campers and their families were joined by Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin and First Lady Suzanne S. Youngkin as they presented VASFA with the Spirit of Virginia award. This award recognizes unique qualities and standout achievements across the Commonwealth and salutes Virginians for their uncommon contributions in private industries, education, culture, the arts, and philanthropy. The following week, Advanced Coding and Robotics campers were treated to a rocket launch viewing event during the Northrop Grumman’s 19th cargo resupply launch to the International Space Station aboard the Antares rocket from Wallops Island, Virginia.

five people stand with their backs facing the camera, all five people are looking and pointing at a bright orange light, rising above the horizon.
VASFA campers and staff watch as an Antares rocket launches from Wallops Island
Virginia Space Flight Academy



Last Updated
Jan 03, 2024
Amy Barra
Wallops Flight Facility