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STEM Engagement @ The Katherine Johnson IV&V Program

About IV&V Stem Engagement

NASA’s STEM Engagement programs inspire and engage America’s youth and have a positive impact on the number of students who choose to pursue careers within. NASA increases a diverse pool of future employees by attracting and retaining students with these efforts in education as NASA helps the United States remain globally competitive and sustain a strong national economy.

NASA’s IV&V STEM Engagement Program is preparing new K-12 teachers by providing access to NASA learning materials and educator professional development via its Education Resource Center (ERC). Our Student Outreach program offers authentic experiences for diverse K-12 school groups from across the region while our robotics, rocketry, and aviation competitions engage thousands of students each year. Undergraduate students have become more engaged than ever with NASA missions and science through the Space Flight Design Challenge, the Science Public Outreach Team (SPOT), and numerous collegiate competitions. NASA IV&V reaches out to underserved groups and females through partnerships and programs to increase their involvement in education through our most intensive opportunities, the high school and college intern programs.

You can also visit the ERC’s google site at:

You can learn about competitive robotics programs and find an event near you at the WV Robotics Alliance Website:

For Educators

IV&V Education Resource Center (ERC)
Through a partnership with Fairmont State University, the NASA IV&V Education Resource Center (ERC) provides resources and training opportunities to prepare thousands of excellent new K-12 teachers and supports the existing teacher workforce. The ERC provides in-service, pre-service, and informal educators with an easily accessible source of materials that reflect NASA’s current research and technology in Earth and Space sciences.

Educator Workshops
The ERC staff provides free workshops both on-site and partner hosted (at your location) as well as annual summer institutes for educators on a variety of topics to supplement the curriculum and help meet national and state educational standards. Topics include Aeronautics, Astronomy, Engineering Design Challenges, Mars, Moon Rocks and Meteorites, Planetary Geology, Podcasting, Rocketry, Robotics, or any NASA educational product. The ERC is also the WV Partner for the GLOBE Program and provides teacher certification workshops in the areas of Hydrology, Soils, Atmosphere, Land Cover, and Seasons, as well as training in Global Positioning System (GPS), remote sensing, and the latest Geographic Information System (GIS) tools. Once an educator has completed training, they are certified to borrow one of our 50+ classroom kits including portable planetariums, GPS units, robots, engineering challenges, and much more to increase the number of youth who have an authentic educational experiences.

Go to to see links for calendars, workshops and loan requests.

Social Media
Keep up with the latest workshops and events by joining the NASA IV&V ERC Facebook Group and Like our WV Robotics Alliance Facebook page.

West Virginia Science Public Outreach Team (WV SPOT)
The West Virginia Science Public Outreach Team (WV SPOT) inspires an appreciation of STEM and STEM careers in K-12 students through the delivery of interactive presentations by undergraduate students, which highlight innovative science and engineering research in the Mountain State. For more information or to request a presentation, visit their website at

West Virginia Science Teachers Association (WVSTA)
The NASA ERC is an active member of the WVSTA providing a booth, workshops, sessions, field trips, and organizational support for over two decades.  To visit us at the annual WVSTA conference, visit 

Program Leadership and Evaluation
The NASA IV&V ERC is managed as a grant by Principal Investigator Dr. Deb Hemler since 2005. If you have questions about the program, partnerships, or evaluation contact Dr. Hemler at or (304) 367-4393.

IV&V Student Opportunities

NASA’s IV&V Program strives to improve students’ educational experiences by providing opportunities and activities for a diverse group of students. Through a robust portfolio of high quality engagement activities, events, presenters and resources, students can experience NASA missions, successes and challenges at no cost.

Student Programs 

NASA’s IV&V Program hosts workshops for groups of public, private or home-school students. These workshops are free of charge, cover a wide range of STEM topics, and can be held at your location or here at NASA. Students will be led through engaging, hands-on activities by our education specialists and enjoy interacting with a NASA scientist or engineer, in-person or via video conference. For direct classroom engagement, we recommend the WV Science Public Outreach Team (WVSPOT), which utilizes college level students to engage k-12 students through a variety of STEM-related educational workshops.

To schedule a student workshop or find out more information, please utilize the following resources:


WV Science Public Outreach Team

Competitive Robotics Programs
With funding from NASA’s Robotic Alliance Project the ERC coordinates over a half dozen unique robotics competitions and hosts state, regional, and international tournaments each year.  ERC specialists provide training for new teams, coordinate robotics summer camps for students, and conduct annual boot camps for coaches.  Interested students or educator looking to start a team should visit

Model Rocketry
The ERC provides workshops on-site for student groups on model rocketry as well as training and mentorship for teams competing in The American Rocketry Challenge (TARC). To request a student workshop visit  To register a TARC team visit If your school or group need help starting a team, safely launching rockets, TARC observers, or mentors, contact:

In partnership with Destination SPACE the NASA ERC offers an annual residential SPACE camp on-campus at Fairmont State University for high school students. The one-week program focuses on satellite technology, with the goal of offering engaging, inspiring, educational experiences for students from underrepresented backgrounds in the aerospace field. Students build, solder, and program small robots, weather stations and altimeters which are launched on weather balloons and model rockets. If you are interested in learning more about this unique program, visit or contact

First Star Academy
Through partnerships with KVC West Virginia and First Star, and funding from the WV Department of Education and WV Department of Health and Human Resources, the NASA ERC is providing year-round STEM engagement for youth in foster care.  If you know of a student entering the 9th grade, or in high school in WV who is in foster care, kinship care, or in a residential group home, encourage them to apply to be part of this exciting program.  For more information on the program, requirements to be part of the academy, and to begin the application process visit or contact

NASA Kids’ Day and Careers in the Corridor
The ERC hosts two annual events where students can interact with scientists and engineers from NASA, as well as from area educational institutions and corporations. NASA Kids’ Day is designed to engage middle school students in short hands-on activities and talks, sparking their interest in STEM. Careers in the Corridor is for high school students, to increase their awareness of STEM-related careers and what is necessary to achieve them. For more information on these events, keep an eye on our Public Events page:

Be A NASA Intern

NASA’s IVV Program hosts high school and college level internship experiences for students with diverse backgrounds and have an interest in technology, science, mathematics, and engineering. These students will work closely with scientists and engineers who act as their mentors. The program offers students a unique and positive experience in their fields of interest, thus encouraging them to pursue careers in science and engineering.

Learn More about Be A NASA Intern
Nine high school and college interns standing in front of the Katherine Johnson IV&V Facility

Space Flight Design Challenge

The NASA IV&V Program, in collaboration with West Virginia Space Grant Consortium, provides the opportunity for academic institutions across the state to develop knowledge and gain practical experience designing, building, and launching space systems and payloads.  We call this opportunity the Space Flight Design Challenge (SFDC).  The SFDC leverages RockSat: an annual program culminating in a sounding rocket launch from Wallops Flight Facility.  The SFDC serves to remove obstacles posed by the complexities inherent in developing critical systems by making the knowledge required and practices utilized for such endeavors commonly understood topics.  

For more information about the SFDC, vist the SFDC contact page.

For more information about the RockSat Program, visit:  RockON! & RockSat Programs | NASA

Contact Us

Student Outreach Specialist

Jess White:

ERC Program Manager

Todd Ensign: