Aviation High Students Graduate From Summer Aerospace Scholars Program

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Four students from Des Moines’ Aviation High School graduated from the 2009 Washington Aerospace Scholars Summer Residency program this summer, and we here at The B-Town Blog would like to give a big shout out to them:

  • Thomas Malchodi
  • Andrew May
  • Andrew Reece
  • Michael Thompson

They were among the 150 students who qualified for the Washington Aerospace Scholars (WAS) Summer Residency program from 260 students who applied last November. To qualify for the residency program, they spent six months studying a NASA-designed, distance-learning curriculum via the Internet. Based on their academic performance on these lessons, they were selected to attend one of the four residencies hosted at The Museum of Flight in Seattle this summer. During the residency, the students collaborated with the other participants on the design of a human mission to Mars. WAS scholars are guided by professional engineers, scientists, university students and certified educators as they plan these missions. The WAS program is designed to inspire students to pursue degrees and careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) but the students are divided into teams which also require them to learn about mission management, budgets, the legal aspects of space exploration, and medicine.

Andrew Reece

In addition to the design of the human mission to Mars, they and the other WAS scholars participated in a number of hands-on engineering challenges. These challenges included: design, construction and deployment of robotic rovers, model rockets, lander devices, and payload lofting systems. Summer residency participants also received briefings from experts in the fields of engineering, science, physics, medicine, project management, risk management, and space exploration, such as Dr. Bonnie J. Dunbar, astronaut and CEO of the Museum of Flight. They also visited the Boeing plant in Everett for a behind-the-scenes tour of Boeing’s Commercial Airplane assembly (including the new 787), and toured engineering laboratories at the University of Washington.

As graduates of WAS, Thomas Malchodi, Andrew May, Andrew Reece, and Michael Thompson join over 380 alumni representing 170 different Washington high schools.

All expenses (including travel, meals and lodging) are provided to students free of charge by the Washington Aerospace Scholars Foundation. The program has been supported through generous grants from The Apex Foundation, The Aldarra Foundation, The Boeing Company, Microsoft, Battelle and individual donors. The Museum of Flight hosts both the program administration and the summer residency sessions. Additional partners include NASA Johnson Space Center for curriculum development, the Washington State Governor’s Office, Washington State Legislators, and the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Washington Aerospace Scholars began accepting applications in early September for the 2009-2010 program cycle to download an application, please visit www.museumofflight.org/washingtonaerospacescholars. WAS participants must be high school juniors with 3.0 minimum grade-point-averages, United States citizens and Washington State residents.

The deadline for student applications is November 6th, so you’d better get ready for take-off now.

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One Response to “Aviation High Students Graduate From Summer Aerospace Scholars Program”
  1. Kevin D says:

    Quite an honor. Way to go guys!!

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