High Hopes: Apply now for aerospace scholars program

Herald staff

Students and teachers who wish to participate in the Washington Aerospace Scholars program should get their applications in soon.

The free statewide program for high-school juniors emphasizes science, technology, engineering and math and encourages students to consider careers in those fields. Teachers who are selected to participate will receive stipends. The deadline for the application for teachers is Nov. 2, for students Nov. 9.

Based out of the Museum of Flight in Seattle, the Washington Aerospace Scholars program gives participants an inside look at Washington’s aerospace industry. The program is divided into two sections: an online learning component and a six-day summer residency.

In mid-December, students begin a series of online lessons that were designed in partnership with NASA and the University of Washington Department of Earth and Space Sciences. Students have the option of paying UW to receive college credit for the online courses.

During the online portion, selected teachers serve as online evaluators, overseeing 25 students from mid-December to May. They receive a $400 stipend.

Student performance on the online lessons determines eligibility for the six-day summer residency at the Museum of Flight. At the summer program, students work with professional engineers on the design of a human mission to Mars. They also tour engineering and scientific facilities and laboratories and compete in a variety of hands-on engineering challenges.

Teachers who participate in the summer program receive a $500 stipend as well as some expenses. They oversee a group of 10 students. To qualify, teachers have to be Washington state certified teachers of science, math, technology or related subjects. They also need to be U.S. citizens.

Students who are interested in the Washington Aerospace Scholars program need to be high school juniors, Washington state residents and U.S. citizens. Although a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required for full status, students with a lower GPA can be admitted on a conditional basis.

For more information, visit Washington Aerospace Scholars at www.museumof flight.org/was.