Issaquah students accepted into flight museum’s Aerospace Scholars Program

July 13, 2010

By Staff

Michael Rheaume, Andrew Meigs, Joseph Tom, Josiah Lim and Amy Spens, all of Issaquah, are participating in one of four Washington Aerospace Scholars program Summer Residency sessions at The Museum of Flight in Seattle.

Washington Aerospace Scholars is a competitive educational program for high school juniors from across Washington state.

The scholars are among 160 students who qualified for the Washington Aerospace Scholars Summer Residency program from 247 students who applied in November. To qualify, they spent six months studying a NASA-designed, distance-learning curriculum via the Internet. They have been selected to attend one of four residencies hosted at The Museum of Flight in Seattle this summer based on their academic performance on the distance-learning lessons.

During the residency experience, they will collaborate with other student participants on the design of a human mission to Mars. WAS scholars are guided by professional engineers, scientists, university students and certified educators as they plan these missions. The WAS program is designed to inspire students to pursue degrees and careers in science, technology, engineering and math, but the students are divided into teams, which also require them to learn about mission management, budgets, the legal aspects of space exploration and medicine.In addition to the design of the human mission to Mars, they and other WAS scholars will participate in a number of hands-on engineering challenges. These challenges will include design, construction and deployment of robotic rovers, model rockets, lander devices and payload lofting systems. Summer residency participants will also receive briefings from experts in the fields of engineering, science, physics, medicine, project management, risk management, and space exploration, such as former astronaut Dr. Bonnie J. Dunbar.

They will also visit Everett for a behind-the-scenes tour of the Boeing Commercial Airplane assembly plant, (including the new 787), tour Aerojet’s Redmond facility and the engineering laboratories at the University of Washington. As graduates of WAS, the scholars join more than 540 alumni representing 170 different Washington high schools.

All expenses (including travel, meals and lodging) are provided to students free of charge by the Washington Aerospace Scholars Foundation. The program has been supported through grants from The Apex Foundation, The Aldarra Foundation, The Boeing Co., Microsoft, Battelle and individual donors. The Museum of Flight hosts both the program administration and the summer residency sessions. Additional partners include NASA Johnson Space Center for curriculum development, the Washington state Governor’s Office, Washington state Legislators and the state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Washington Aerospace Scholars will accept applications for students and teachers in early September for the 2010-2011 program cycle; go here to download an application. WAS participants must be high school juniors, United States citizens and Washington state residents. Teachers must be practicing, Washington state-certified educators and must also be U.S. citizens. The deadline for applications is Nov. 5.

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