May 18, 2023

By Linda Cicoira

     The Virginia Space Flight Academy on Wallops Island is celebrating 25 years of serving students on the Eastern Shore and across the nation with its summer space camp and has been offering year-round Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics or STEM programs for local students from Somerset County, Md. to Northampton County for three years.

     On Wednesday, Executive Director Kim Check, of the academy, meet with the Accomack Board of Supervisors. For the last two years, Check said, ten full scholarships were awarded to Accomack students and an additional five students are still being sought for the summer camp this year.  The camp is open to those from 11 to 16 years old who are interested in STEM and future careers at the Wallops space center. Forty students have been sponsored over the years, Check said.

     The “space adventure camp” made possible through the Space Act agreement was renewed this year for another 5 years, Check said. In addition, she reported that Rocket Lab, a local launch company, gave the academy $20,000 to benefit students from Accomack and Northampton counties.

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     Check said her job is to acquire more funding to continue to bring students to the spaceport with local partnerships, “Arcadia Middle School in particular,” was named.

     Iron-on patches were presented to the supervisors to ramp up the program’s visibility. It pays tribute to the Eastern Shore and all of Virginia and includes a symbol of the Internal Space Station, which also dates back to 1998.

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