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Virginia Space Flight Academy

Rating: 4.67 stars   12 reviews 764

Nonprofit Issues:

Education

Address:

7536 Kearsarge Circle PO Box 188 Atlantic, VA 23303 Wallops Island VA 23337 USA

Mission:

Target demographics:

boys & girls aged 11-18

Direct beneficiaries per year:

146 residential campers, 120+ scouts

Geographic areas served:

Wallops Island area

Programs:

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.

2013 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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More Info

www.VASpaceFlightAcademy.org

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Reviews for Virginia Space Flight Academy

Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 1 stars  

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.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

I'm proud to have served on the VSFA Board of Directors since its inception, sixteen years ago. As a result of tireless efforts by the board, Executive Director and staff, hundreds of young people have been exposed to the real-life environment of engineering and science. Our students are at what most believe to be the optimal age to become stimulated to pursue education and careers in the STEM disciplines, and I believe that there are many engineers, technicians and scientists now applying their knowledge in public and private sector jobs, who may not have had the desire or initiative without VSFA.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Likely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

This experience was amazing for my daughter! Science and technology become accessible to those not 100% confident in this arena while challenge the students who are already fully geeking out. She was inspired. I recommended it for anyone, the counselors are top-notch the management and camp administration seamless. As her first overnight camp experience I was prepared for homesick calls and a start and got the absolute opposite. We are going back!

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

 
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Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

As a parent of daughter who is not particularly intersted in science related actiites, I must say that we were very pleased with her summer experience with the VA Space Flight Academy. She enjoyed the interaction with peers (gender and ethnicity) that she encountered and loved the counselors. She even came away with an increasd interst in science and robotics, which was truly a plus. I encourage parents to give very serious consideration to VSFA experince as a very rewarding and engaging one for students.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
Flag review
Rating: 5 stars  

I attended Virginia Space Flight Academy as a camper for four years, every year 2009-2012. Every single year was an amazing experience. The staff are the best of any summer camp/event I've been to, the facilities are optimal, and the learning is enormous. During my time there, I learned basic rocketry and robotics, toured multiple NASA and US Navy facilities (most of which are NOT easily available to the general public-if they are at all), including the closed-to-public AEGIS facility, the Horizontal Integration Facility (which is where new and large rockets are assembled before launch), the NOAA Information handling station (where every NOAA weather satellite sends its data), the NASA-run Wallops Airfield/Fire and Rescue station, and the Control Room of Wallops Flight Facility/Goddard Space Flight Center. There is also fun social activities during the evening time; Mini Golf and Ice Cream on Chincoteague, a beach trip to Assateauge, and many an hour spent relaxing and socializing with the other campers. This camp is unbeatable.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Have it be year round.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
Flag review
Rating: 5 stars  

My son attended the Virginia Space Flight Academy last month, and had a wonderful, educational experience with like-minded young scientists. The program is run very efficiently. It was easy for me to sign up my son for camp online, provide the required forms, and receive confirmation. Nancy Marasco followed up with several personal emails, which left me feeling very comfortable with leaving my son in her capable hands. We were also put at ease with the ice cream social that kicked-off the week, and the awards ceremony at the conclusion. My son, who has high-functioning autism, was accommodated for his disability very well. He had so much fun at camp, enjoyed all the outings with NASA, and came back with quite a bit of knowledge about rocketry and robotics. We watched the LADEE rocket take off in the eastern sky this past Friday, and my son was able to tell me all about the different stages we were witnessing. This camp was GREAT!

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

 
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Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

The Virginia Space Flight Academy offers an in-depth introduction to rocketry and robotics, and they aren't just a camp! They also do public programs and work with Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts and other community organizations. The staff are knowledgeable and friendly, and you couldn't ask for a better setting for their programs--right at Wallops Island! Campers get to tour the NASA facility, which is a treat!

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

 
Flag review
Rating: 5 stars  

The VSFA provides a truly unique "space camp" experience that takes advantage of its location adjacent to a NASA operational launch facility and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport -- a commercial space access facility. Campers may get to witness a NASA or MARS rocket launch, help the U2/ER2 pilot suit up, etc. It's a BLAST! The experience demonstrates the wide variety of skills and careers associated with space -- "the final frontier" -- other than being one of a handful of astronauts.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

 
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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

This camp truly makes science and engineering come alive. Between the behind the scenes tours of the NASA base and the robotics and rocketry programs the campers are having so much fun they have no idea they’re learning. The staff is knowledgeable and always eager to do whatever they can to make sure the kids are safe, learning and above all having fun.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

 
Flag review
Rating: 5 stars  

I sent my grandson to the academy last and I could see how much he learned and enjoyed the experience. He will be returning this year.

I also gained great respect foe the Executive Director and the staff. I have the desire to become involved in helping in whatever way I can.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

 
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