Virginia Space Flight Academy
Rating: 4.81 stars 21 21 reviews 865
7536 Kearsarge Circle PO Box 188 Atlantic, VA 23303 Wallops Island VA 23337 USA
boys & girls aged 11-18
Direct beneficiaries per year:
146 residential campers, 120+ scouts
Geographic areas served:
Wallops Island area
STEM initiatives of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math through robotics and rocketry. Week long summer residential programs. Day and weekend programs for school and scouting groups.
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Reviews for Virginia Space Flight Academy
Virginia Space Flight Academy encourages STEM development through robotics, rocketry, flying Unmanned Aerial Systems, and more! The location takes advantage of its proximity to NASA Wallops Flight Facility and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport by providing "behind-the-scenes" tours. Opportunities abound for camp participants to interact and learn from engineers working on cutting edge aerospace initiatives and launch facilities. The professional staff work hard to ensure each top notch session is fun, friendly and encourages campers to develop a lifelong interest in science and technology.
For the past 2 summers, Jenks Academy for the Arts and Sciences in Philadelphia has sent a students to VSFA. It has been an incredible experience for the students. They come back to school and share experiments and experiences with the larger student body. It is without a doubt a life changing week for our students!
As the summer camp Director of the Virginia Space Flight Academy I want to thank all of the parents and participants who have written positive reviews of our fine facility. Although parents grade us here based on the positive comments made by their child, it is the program that speaks for itself. What makes us unique is the access our participants have to a true NASA facility. Daily NASA briefings are given to our participants that focus on the research and achievements made by NASA almost daily. No other space themed camp offers the opportunity to witness the building of a real rocket, the testing of its components and the opportunity to stand yards away from a launch. We our give participants the opportunity to come face-to-face with the engineers who design, test, build the rockets. NASA pilots who fly the aircraft that do the groundbreaking research important to our everyday lives give tours of the specialized aircraft stationed at Wallops. Participants visit the NOAA or National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and participate in weather balloon launches. Visiting a working launch control center and walking on a real launch pad are activities unique only to the Virginia Space Flight Academy. When something extraordinary is happening at the NASA Wallops Space Flight Facility, the participants get a front row seat. No other space camp provides these memorable opportunities.
As a professional educator, I fully appreciate that the participants of our camp get an extra bonus in participating in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) activities. They participate in NASA engineering challenges, build rockets, build robots, fly drones and star gazing that not only enhance their education but promotes teamwork and comradery.
The setting of our facility is within an educational compound with dorm style housing. Sleeping arrangements are done by segregating the ages and gender. Counselors are always there to supervise and advise twenty four hours.
Because we strongly support our community, we use local businesses as vendors for our sustenance and activities that our young people enjoy so much.
The Virginia Space Flight Academy offers a truly unique experience for ages 11 to 17. Our participants have testified about the fun and fellowship they have at our facility. One camper I met said it best, "If you don't have fun here, it's your own fault".
George P. Fatolitis, PhD (ebd)
Director Virginia Space Flight Academy
My son did not want to attend. Before the camp was over; and for a week, he talked non stop. He was thrilled to have attended, and wants to go back. He has dreams of being a counselor some year at Wallops. Robotics is his favorite field, but the fun and opportunities were endless. He enjoyed the field trips, whether it be the beach, or the mission tower. He has memories and a deeper desire to pursue a career in the technology field. This is the first time he has wanted to attend college, and knows where he wants to go. See you in 2016.
My two sons attended VSFA this summer and had a great time. Both went at different intervals. Depending on timing, one of them got to see a live launch of a suborbital rocket! He had much to relay when he got back home. The program is geared towards STEM. VSFA offers a great opportunity for kids having interest in the sciences and robotics, or even for kids thinking about this this field. They are able to express their interest through their work. The tours and hands on application allowed my kids to comprehend more in depth of robotics and rocketry. My daughter is eagerly anticipating to attend the upcoming camp as she will meet the age requirement.
My Son attend the VSFA this summer and loved every minute of it. He learned basic rocketry and robotics, toured a NASA facility and in short learned that science can be a whole lot of fun as well as educational. We intend to sigh him up for the advance camp this coming summer.
My twin sons attended Virginia Space Flight Academy this past summer and had a blast. They learned a great deal and had a terrific time doing so. They loved meeting fellow campers from all over the country, worked with great counselors, and thoroughly enjoyed learning robotics, building and flying rockets, and working with drones. In an era when STEM education is so critically important to our future, this camp experience has shown my sons that STEM is exciting and fun- and both now plan to be engineers. I could not have wished for more!
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
change nothing about the program
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As the former Executive Director ( 8 years ) and present Treasurer and Board Member, I am very prejudiced, however, the numbers speak for themselves: 17 years of operation, 2,500+ students and overwhelming positive reviews from students and their parents! I know of no other camp in the United States that offers guided tours of operational NASA, NOAA, Navy and Orbital ATK operational facilities, including NASA's machine shop, payload processing facility, fire department, range control center, NOAA's data acquisition center, Navy Aegis training center, MARS ( Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport ) launch pads, and Orbital ATK's HIF ( horizontal integration facility ) where students view the Antares rocket that is used to resupply the International Space Station , all while having fun building robots and launching model rockets. . We have hosted students from Washington state to Maine to Florida as well as international students from France, Russia, India and South Korea to name a few. Our major objective is to expose young students to the exciting opportunities in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) principals in a fun environment..
My daughter has attended this camp twice and my son once. They both enjoyed it immensely. The program is geared around STEM/STEAM activities. They are looking forward to attending again!
My child attended this camp. First, I have to say that the camp's website is a little misleading. I was under the impression that my kid would be spending a considerable amount of time on the NASA facility. In fact, there was very little talk about space until the third day of a 5 day camp. There were astrological events taking place this week with multiple plants visible and aligned at night. This camp has no telescopes and really didn't even take the kids out to look at the stars. There is a little too wide of an age range with kids from 11-15. This is two entirely different maturity levels. Some of the rocketry equipment is designed for 7 year olds, not 11-15 year olds. The food was less than expected as some meals were lasagna take-out from a local diner. I'm sure this camp works fine for parents that just want to ship their kid off for a few days, but kids that have a real interest in space will be sorely disappointed. The counselors aren't trained to deal with home sickness as our kid called every day, begging us to come bring him home. There was a little more bullying that I expected with our kid having to stick up for a fellow camper with some type of developmental issue that was being physically bullied. If your child is truly interested in space, make the trip to Huntsville to the real space camp.