Friday, May 27, 2022

Vertical Flight Society Hampton Roads Chapter Offers Scholarship for H.S. Seniors Interested in STEM Fields

The Hampton Roads Chapter of the Vertical Flight Society encourages young minds in the community to find an interested in STEM fields. (Courtesy of VFS-HRC)

HAMPTON ROADS — High School seniors who plan to pursue a college education that will lead to a career in fields such as mathematics, engineering, physics or computer science have a scholarship that they can apply to.

For over 20 years, the Hampton Roads Chapter (HRC) of the Vertical Flight Society (VFS) has sponsored an annual scholarship for high school seniors interested in STEM-related fields.

HRC is offering three scholarships, $1,000 each, to high school seniors within the Hampton Roads Chapter area, which includes, but is not limited to, Chesapeake, Gloucester, Hampton, James City County, York County, Williamsburg, Newport News, Portsmouth, Poquoson, Suffolk and Virginia Beach.

The application requires an essay addressing what developing technology or potential government policy will help eVTOL vehicles become a reality in the next 10 years.

“This is our way to give back to the community and to inspire future engineers and scientists to look into the rotorcraft world,” VFS-HRC Education Director James Stephenson said. “The rotorcraft community is traditionally small, but with the advent of eVTOL transportation, the community and opportunities are expected to grow exponentially.”

“Rotorcraft are already used extensively to protect and transport our soldiers, to provide medical assistance and other support services in the community,” he added. “The eVTOL industry plans to revolutionize our day-to-day transportation by providing air taxis to get between places. In the Hampton Roads area, eVTOLs are expected to see significant use getting to and from the Peninsula without the troubles of bridge-tunnel delays. There is so much growth and opportunity in this field, it is very important for us to attract and inspire the future workforce.”

Founded in 1943, the VFS International is the world’s premier professional society relating to helicopters, vertical takeoff and short landing (VSTOL) vehicles and drones.

The Hampton Roads Chapter’s membership area includes all of the state of Virginia except the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.

Along with offering scholarships, the local chapter engages young minds through helping judge science fairs around the area and offering special awards at the Tidewater Regional Science and Engineering Fair each year.

“We also have a hands-on demonstration kit that we take into schools and use to teach about sound and vibration at any level from Kindergarten to AP Physics,” Stephenson said. “COVID-19 has stopped a lot of this outreach, but we’re looking forward to the end of the pandemic so we can get back into the classroom.”

The 2022 VFS scholarship application closes March 4.

Details on how to apply can be found here.

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