NASA, West Virginia Partner For New Aerospace Scholars Program

HOUSTON, April 13 — (PRNewswire) — NASA has partnered with the West Virginia Space Grant Consortium to implement the West Virginia Aerospace and Engineering Scholars (WVAES) Program, replicated after Texas High School Aerospace Scholars.

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"Fairmont State University is delighted to partner with the West Virginia Space Grant Consortium and Mid-Atlantic Aerospace Complex to provide such an exciting opportunity for high school juniors in West Virginia," said Dr. Anthony F. Gilberti, WVAES Program Manager and Dean of the FSU College of Science and Technology. "All participating students will benefit from the skills they learn during the NASA-developed course with a space exploration theme."

Virginia Aerospace, Science and Technology Scholars, a partner of NASA Aerospace Scholars, was shared at the Mid-Atlantic Space Grant Consortium meeting in the fall of 2009 which JSC supported.  Dr. Majid Jaraiedi, Director of West Virginia Space Grant Consortium, led the interest to implement a similar program in West Virginia.

The program will allow West Virginia high school juniors to engage in an online course developed by NASA that focuses on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) related concepts using the theme of space exploration.  Students will compete for a chance to participate in a five-day activity in August at Fairmont State University to develop a mission to Mars along with West Virginia scientists and engineers.  

The application deadline for this year's WVAES program is April 19, 2010. The application can be found at:

"NASA is pleased to partner with West Virginia and support efforts to provide a proven and engaging STEM opportunity for their students," said Linda Smith, NASA Aerospace Scholars program manager.

Fairmont State University, with a 120-acre main campus in Fairmont, W.Va., is part of the state's growing high technology corridor with a metro area of about 50,000 residents.

The campus, which is shared with partner institution Pierpont Community & Technical College, is expanding with new construction including an Engineering Technology Building.  With an enrollment of 4,750, FSU offers more than 90 baccalaureate degrees and graduate programs.

For more information about the WVAES program visit:

The WVAES program is based on the Texas High School Aerospace Scholars Program started in 1999 through a partnership with the state of Texas and Johnson Space Center. NASA Aerospace Scholars continues NASA's tradition of investing in the nation's educational programs. It is directly tied to the agency's major education goal of attracting and retaining students in STEM disciplines critical to NASA's future missions.

For more information about HAS and related programs visit:

For more information about NASA visit:

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Jenna C Maddix, Johnson Space Center, Houston
Phone: +1-281-483-5111
Amy Pellegrin, Director of Public Relations, Fairmont State University, W.Va.
Phone: +1-304-367-4135

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