Washington Aerospace Scholars accepting teacher and student applications
October 5, 2012 · Updated 11:38 AM
The Washington Aerospace Scholars (WAS) program is currently accepting applications from teachers and student for its 2012-13 cycle.
WAS is a free statewide program for high school juniors that emphasizes science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and encourages students to consider careers in these fields. The program is divided into two components: an online distance learning curriculum and a six-day summer residency.
Beginning in mid-December, students will begin Phase One: a series of online distance-learning lessons using curriculum designed in partnership with NASA and the University of Washington (UW) Department of Earth and Space Sciences. In this phase, students will have the option to pay a fee to receive five UW credits in Space and Space Travel (ESS 102) upon their successful completion of the WAS curriculum. This course will satisfy the Natural World area of knowledge requirement for graduation from UW. Applying for UW credit is optional and students will be able to participate in Phase One even if they choose not to register for credit.
Student performance on the Phase One curriculum will determine eligibility for Phase Two: a six-day summer residency session hosted by The Museum of Flight in Seattle. Participants will work with professional engineers on the design of a human mission to Mars. Participants will also receive briefings from experts, tour engineering and scientific facilities and laboratories and compete in a variety of hands-on engineering challenges. These challenges include model rocket design, construction and launch, robotic rover design, construction and obstacle course competition, lander design, construction and deployment and payload lofting system design.
Program participants must be high school juniors, Washington residents and U.S. citizens. A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required for full status; however, students with a GPA below 3.0 may be admitted on a conditional basis.
The student application deadline is Nov. 9.
Teachers accepted into WAS will participate in both phases of the program. During Phase One, teachers serve as online academic evaluators (OAE) and receive a $400 stipend to evaluate approximately 25 students from mid-December to May through the WAS Moodle website. Phase One consists of eleven online lessons and every two weeks OAEs use program-developed rubrics to evaluate the essays and math assignments that students submit online.
Phase One teachers will also be provided a $500 stipend to participate in the six-day summer residency held at The Museum of Flight in Seattle. During the residency, teachers work with a STEM professional to guide a team of ten students as they plan a human mission to Mars. The summer residency also features guest speakers, tours of engineering facilities that are not available to the general public and hands-on engineering challenges. Teachers can opt to earn 60 free clock hours and all summer residency room/board and travel expenses are covered by the WAS Foundation.
Teachers must be U.S. citizens and practicing, Washington state-certified, teachers of science, math, technology or related subjects.
The teacher application deadline is Nov. 2.
To learn more, visit www.museumofflight.org/was.