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Washington Aerospace Scholars

STEM companies want you! Earn college credit!

Washington Aerospace Scholars (WAS) is an online distance learning course and summer experience specifically designed for high school juniors interested in pursuing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) pathways through the exploration of space and space travel.

The online curriculum is a University of Washington college course focused on NASA’s space exploration program as well as topics in Earth and Space Science.

If scholars successfully complete the online curriculum, they are invited to participate in multi-day summer experiences that provide them the opportunity to work with STEM professionals, NASA scientists, university students and STEM educators.

  • Participating in the online distance learning course helps students understand the components and expectations for college level coursework while they are still in high school, particularly the importance of good time management and the ability to prioritize.
  • Being able to state on a resume or college admission application that they completed a five-credit University of Washington course, while in high school, will help to set them apart from other applicants.
  • Regardless of where they live, participating in WAS enables students to interact with like-minded peers and participate in virtual chats with STEM professionals currently working in a field of interest to them.
  • The summer experiences provide students the opportunity to have fun learning about the universe in which we live, to meet other students with similar interests, and to challenge themselves to plan realistic future space missions.
  • Being a graduate of the WAS program puts scholars in an alumni network of over 1600 students who are at top colleges and military academies across the country and who work at STEM companies, including Boeing, Microsoft, SpaceX, Facebook and NASA.
  • WAS alumni frequently report that their experience builds their confidence, interpersonal skills, and prepares them for success in college.

Graduates of the WAS program gain access to $250,000 worth of exclusive scholarship opportunities, and receive a free membership to The Museum of Flight.

Program Details:

Be among the first to know when applications for the 2022-23 WAS program open in the Fall, by filling out the interest form below.

WAS Interest Form

Phase One: Online Course
  • Dates: October 2022 through March 2023
  • Course Fee: FREE
    • The University of Washington offers five optional science credits for a fee of $235.
      • Families may apply for tuition support to cover this fee, as needed. More information provided during Phase One.
    • Participation in Phase Two is not required for Phase One.

Phase Two: Summer Residency
  • A six-day residency program held at The Museum of Flight in Seattle. Acceptance into Phase Two is based on performance in Phase One.
  • 2022 Dates: August 7-12, August 14-19, and August 21-26
  • [For pending applicants, 2023 Dates will be in July & August 2023]
  • Program Fee: $975* (covers all program supplies and room/board)
    • A 50% deposit towards the cost of the Summer Residency will not be due until scholar has been notified of acceptance into the Summer Residency.

*The WAS Foundation can provide tuition assistance, up to 100% of cost, for families experiencing financial need.

Volunteer as a Mentor for WAS!

After scholars successfully complete an online curriculum they are invited to participate in multi-day summer experiences that provide them the opportunity to work with STEM professionals, NASA scientists, university students and STEM educators. As a volunteer Mentor you will:

  • Help a team of 10 scholars plan one component of a mission to Mars
  • Join the team Monday–Thursday, 8 a.m.–12 p.m. at The Museum of Flight
  • Work alongside university students and certified educators to facilitate student research, project design and presentation
  • Provide guidance and advice about their own professional experience, which helps scholars decide how and where to pursue STEM careers
  • Be invited to a celebratory luncheon on Friday from 12p.m.–2 p.m. hosted at The Museum of Flight

Click here for a flyer on being a mentor for WAS or if you would like to apply click below:

WAS Volunteer Mentor Form

We're Looking for STEM Teachers

WAS is seeking STEM teachers to evaluate online coursework and participate as an academic facilitator during the summer. In addition to being exposed to university level curriculum and content, participants will also have opportunities to interact with professionals working in STEM fields, tour engineering and research facilities that are not open to the general public, work with highly engaged and motivated students, and learn new techniques for demonstrating STEM concepts in their classrooms.

Stipends and clock hours are available.

The deadline to apply for the 2021-22 WAS program has passed. Applications for next year will open in Fall of 2022.

If you would like to be notified when applications open, please fill out our interest form:

WAS Teacher Interest Form

For more information, contact or call 206-764-5863.


View our Washington Aerospace Scholars FAQs

Montana Learning Center Logo

The Montana Learning Center will continue to offer an aerospace scholars program for sophomore and junior students located in Montana. Apply for Montana Aerospace Scholars on their website:

If you have questions about the Montana program, contact them directly for more information at:

The Museum of Flight no longer offers the WAS sophomore or junior program for students who reside in Oregon.

You can find details about STEM opportunities across Oregon by visiting:

Washington Aerospace Scholars is made possible through financial support from NASA, The Boeing Company, Aerojet Rocketdyne Foundation, The Museum of Flight and individual donors. In addition, we thank Washington NASA Space Grant Consortium for their continued in-kind support.