Preparing for a STEM-Literate Future. 

The NASA / NIA Summer Residential Governor's School Program

The NASA / NIA Engineering Summer Residential Governor's School is a 4-week mentorship program in June and July, for 12 highly gifted rising 11th and 12th grade students from the Commonwealth of Virginia. Once selected for this competitive program, the students are assigned to a mentor at NASA/Langley or NIA to participate in actual research projects with a team- oriented approach to the learning experience. Students have the opportunity to view engineering and research from different perspectives, becoming familiar with potential career options in NASA-related STEM fields.


The students work in labs or other facilities from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM each day, five days a week, excluding federal holidays.  All students eat lunch together in the NASA cafeteria before returning to their work stations for the afternoon. Special tours and lectures throughout the summer inform students about current projects at both Langley and other NASA Centers. The 2017 group will have the unique opportunity to be involved in NASA Langley’s Centennial events as the Center celebrates its 100-year legacy.

At the completion of the 4-week program, students are required to make an oral and technology-laden presentation to mentors and available NASA/Langley researchers, graduate students and staff at the National Institute of Aerospace. Presentations are streamed so the students’ families and members of their home school districts may watch.  Presentations are archived and may be retrieved as part of the students’ academic portfolio.  


Live-in chaperones are hired by the VA DOE who stay with the students while they are not at work. The students and the staff live in a residence hall at Christopher Newport University. Students will receive NASA badges, which must be worn at all times and shown to security upon entrance to the Center. The students also participate in a number of evening and weekend activities. In past summers some of the activities included: community service projects, a visit to Langley Air Force Base, Norfolk Tides baseball games, fireworks, a day at Busch Gardens, a day at the beach, and many other activities.   

All of the transportation for students to and from work and activities is provided by CNU. Students may not have personal vehicles during the program. A small activity fee is requested, but waivers are available for anyone who requests it. All other fees for the program are paid for by the home district and the VA DOE.

Former students that have gone through this summer program are now attending MIT, RIT, UVa, W & M, the Naval Academy, Penn, UNC, Columbia, Stanford and Notre Dame, to name a few. Many of the students report that their participation in the NASA program was a deciding factor in their career paths and in acceptance to the universities of their choice. 

Because this experience is truly a mentorship, and the students join research teams that are already in existence, the topics and work assignments change each year. 

This program is best suited for students who enjoy working with others, are willing to be flexible, and are excited about the opportunity to work with / for NASA.

Scroll down to "Applications and Resource Materials."
Click on the general info for students and parents where you will find information about each of the Summer Governor's School Programs.

Access to NASA Langley is limited so all participating students must be U.S. citizens.

Students must be 16 years of age or older by June 20, 2018. No exception to these policies is permitted.