Western Aerospace Scholars (WAS) is an online distance learning course and summer experience specifically designed for high school sophomores and 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.


Why participate in WAS?

  • Regardless of where you live, participating in WAS enables you to interact with like-minded peers and STEM professionals currently working in the field.
  • Completing a five-credit University of Washington course, while in high school, can and will set you apart from other internship and college applicants.
  • The summer experiences provide you the opportunity to further explore the universe in which we live, meet your fellow “space geeks,” and challenge yourself to plan realistic a future space mission.
  • Participating in the program overall will aid in understanding the expectations for college level coursework, particularly the importance of good time management and the ability to prioritize.
  • As a graduate of the WAS program, you will join an alumni network of over 1500 scholars, many of whom are at top colleges and military academies across the country, and then working in STEM companies, including Boeing, Blue Origin, SpaceX, Facebook and Aerojet Rocketdyne.
  • WAS alumni frequently report that their experience in WAS built their confidence, interpersonal skills, and prepared them for success.

Washington Residents

Montana Residents

Oregon Residents