Each summer, VASTS Program Manager and Readiness Learning STEM Director, Rudo Kashiri, high school juniors and seniors from across Virginia have the opportunity to participate in the Virginia Aerospace Science and Technology Scholars program. Students are immersed in NASA related research through interaction with scientists, engineers and technologists.
In addition to this program, Rudo is the Program Manager for the Virginia Space Coast Scholars (VSCS) which is a program for high school sophomores. These free programs inspire students who possess technical and/or scientific interests and are motivated to learn about the many different opportunities NASA offers.
Both programs are in partnership between the Virginia Space Grant Consortium, NASA Wallops Flight Facility, the Mid Atlantic Regional Spaceport and the Commonwealth of Virginia.
We asked Rudo to share some of the important features of the programs.
Rudo: "The program features two key elements. The first is a dynamic on-line science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) learning experience featuring modules and upon completion of the on-line program, top performing students are invited to attend a seven-day residential summer program. Students will learn first hand from NASA professionals and their partners about the latest, cutting edge technologies and missions."
RLA: How does this benefit other Readiness Learning STEM partners?
Rudo: "I am able to bring the STEM and aerospace-related and high technology educational research we are doing to any one interested in preparing our students for a high tech workforce. We are building an infrastructure with our nation's institutions of higher education and we want to link all stakeholders in order to reach more middle and high school students. At Readiness Learning Associates, we partner with schools to provide training to teachers so they may stay current in the rapidly changing world of STEM. In addition, any teacher that would like to serve as a NASA mentor and participate in online discussion forums, synchronous chat sessions and support aspiring students, I can connect you to these paid-stipend opportunities."