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14 students from Bellevue accepted into the Washington Aerospace Scholars Program

Fourteen students from Bellevue will participate in one of the four summer residency sessions this summer at the Museum of Flight in Seattle. Washington Aerospace Scholars (WAS) is a competitive educational program for high school juniors from across Washington State.

The 14 are among the 160 students who qualified for the summer program from 247 students who applied in November. To qualify for the residency program, the students spent six months studying a NASA-designed, distance-learning curriculum via the Internet.

During the residency experience, they will collaborate with the 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 (STEM), 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 the 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 Dr. Bonnie J. Dunbar, NAE retire NASA astronaut.

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.

Washington Aerospace Scholars will be accepting applications for students and teachers in early September for the 2010-2011 program cycle; visit www.museumofflight.org/washingtonaerospacescholars to download an application. WAS participants must be high school juniors, United States citizens and Washington State residents. Teachers must be currently practicing, Washington State certified educators, and must also be US Citizens. The deadline for applications is November 5, 2010.

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