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.

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.

Hear directly from WAS Alumni about their experiences in the program!

Watch WAS Alumni Video

  • 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.

Program Details:

Phase One: Online Course

An online course consisting of 8 lessons and a final project. Each lesson is a mix of online reading, essays, space-based math problems, virtual group discussions, and a hands-on lab.

Dates: November 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.

The Application for 2022/2023 is closed.
Be among the first to know when the 2023/24 WAS application opens in the fall by filling out the interest form below.

WAS 2023/24 Interest Form

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.

Dates: July & August 2023
Residency Fee: $1,025* (covers program supplies and room/board)

  • A 50% deposit towards the Residency Fee is not due until the scholar has been notified of acceptance into Phase Two.
  • *The WAS Foundation can provide tuition assistance, up to 100% of the cost, for families experiencing financial need.

WAS Info Nights

Want to learn more about WAS? Attend an upcoming Info Night! You'll hear from our WAS team about what the program is all about, what to expect and answer any questions you may have. To sign-up, please fill out the interest form below.

WAS Info Night Sign-Up


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: MontanaLearning.org

If you have questions about the Montana program, contact them directly for more information at: MontanaLearningCenter@gmail.com.

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: STEMOregon.org.

Become a WAS Summer Mentor

We are seeking Mentors for our WAS Summer Residency. Summer Mentors provide guidance and support for WAS participants during their Summer Residency.

Mentors will:

  • Help a team of (10) scholars plan one state of a Mission to Mars
  • Work alongside university students and certified educators to facilitate student research, project design and presentation
  • Provide guidance and advice to help scholars pursue a STEM career
  • Attend a Celebratory Luncheon hosted at The Museum of Flight


  • Ability to be onsite at The Museum of Flight during selected session(s): Session 1 - July 23-28, Session 2: August 6-11, Session 3 - August 13-18
  • Commit to 25 hours total of volunteer time
  • Passionate and enthusiastic about STEM
  • Good interpersonal and communication skills
  • Desire to learn about others and help them succeed
  • Pass a background check

Interested? Fill out the WAS Summer Mentor application by clicking the button below.

WAS Summer Mentor Application

For more information about WAS, please contact WAS@museumofflight.org or call 206-764-5863.

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.