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 through March
Fee: No Cost

  • 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.

How to Apply:

The Application for 2024/25 will open August 2024. We encourage you to attend an upcoming Info Night, details are below for how to sign-up.

Not a high school Junior yet but want to learn more? Fill out the Program Interest Form below to be contacted directly with more information about the program for when you are eligible.

Program Interest Form

Phase Two: Summer Residency

A six-day residency program held at The Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington. Acceptance into Phase Two is based on performance in Phase One. Participation in Phase Two is not required.

Dates: July & August
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

Interested in applying or have questions? Join an Info Night! You'll hear from the WAS team about what the program is all about, hear from past students and families on their experience, you'll learn what to expect and have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have.

Upcoming Dates:

  • Thursday, May 16, 2024 from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM (via Zoom)
  • Wednesday, May 29, 2024 from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM (via Zoom)
  • Tuesday, June 11, 2024 from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM (via Zoom)

Please sign-up for the date that works best your schedule by clicking the button below.

Sign-Up for WAS Info Night

If you have immediate questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to WAS@museumofflight.org 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: 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.

Teachers Wanted for 2024/25

Washington Aerospace Scholars (WAS) is seeking Washington middle and high school teachers to evaluate online coursework from November until March, and to participate as an academic facilitator during a six-day summer residency held in July or August at The Museum of Flight.

In addition to the content of the university level curriculum, participants also have opportunities to interact with professionals working in STEM fields, tour engineering and research facilities, work with highly engaged and motivated students, and learn new techniques for demonstrating STEM concepts in their classrooms.

Interested? Fill out our form below to be notified when the 2024-25 applications open:

Teacher Interest Form

Become a Summer Mentor

We are seeking Summer Mentors to guide and support participants during a WAS Summer Residency. Mentors help a team of 10 scholars plan one stage of a ‘Mission to Mars’ while working alongside university students and certified educators to facilitate students’ research, project designs and presentations. Summer Mentors also attend the Closing Luncheon hosted at The Museum of Flight.

Residency Dates/Times:

Session 1: Sunday, July 21 – Friday, July 26, 2024

Session 2: Sunday, August 4 – Friday, August 9, 2024

Session 3: Sunday, August 18 – Friday, August 23, 2024

Times: Sunday 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM; Monday–Thursday 8:00 AM to Noon; Friday 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM


  • Ability to be onsite at The Museum of Flight during selected session(s)
  • Commit to 30 hours total
    • (5) hours of onboarding and preparation 
    • (25) hours working with scholars
  • Passionate and enthusiastic about STEM
  • Good interpersonal and communication skills
  • Desire to learn about others and help them succeed
  • Able to pass a background check

Interested in becoming a Summer Mentor? Apply now using the button below or reach out to WAS@museumofflight.org if you have questions.

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.