RAYMOND, Wash. - Alexandra Webster, a student at Raymond High School, was among 247 talented juniors from across the state who have been accepted into the first phase of Washington Aerospace Scholars (WAS). These 247 students are currently participating in Phase One of WAS: distance learning with a NASA-designed curriculum covering the history of space exploration, the Space Shuttle, the International Space Station, the Moon, and Mars. From January through May, the Scholars will complete ten lessons – submitting quizzes, math solutions, essays, and graphics concerning these topics every other week. These students will independently select a topic of interest for a final project combining an essay with a graphic. They are also competing for a space in one of our four summer residency sessions.
Phase Two of WAS is a six-day summer residency experience for 160 students. Selection will be competitive and centers around performance in Phase One of WAS. In each residency session, 40 Scholars are selected to work cooperatively to plan a human mission to Mars with support from professional engineers/scientists, university students, and certified educators. Each session also includes briefings from aerospace professionals, tours of engineering facilities, and hands-on engineering challenges involving model rocketry, robotics, landing devices, and payload lofting. The daily schedule is full, and the students will lodge at a local hotel under the supervision of certificated teachers. Travel, lodging, and meal expenses are provided to participating students and teachers thanks to the WAS Foundation.