Auburn student enrolls in Phase One of aerospace scholars program

Auburn's Blake Morgan was accepted into the first phase of the Washington Aerospace Scholars program, a competitive educational program for high school juniors from across the State based at The Museum of Flight.

“These students competed against a strong set of requirements, including writing a personal essay and demonstrating proficiency in math and science," said Dr. Bonnie J. Dunbar, museum president and CEO. "We are very proud of them. They are the generation who will solve the challenges of the present and create future dreams.”

Morgan was among over 240 students who applied for WAS in November. Morgan is competing against other students to qualify for the summer residency program held in June and July at the Museum. Morgan, of Auburn High School, will spend the next five months studying a NASA-designed, distance-learning curriculum via the Internet. The curriculum covers topics such the history of human spaceflight and the analysis of current evidence supporting the theory of life on Mars. For their 10 online lessons, scholars must write essays, compute space-related math problems, and design graphics that illustrate their ideas.

Based on his academic performance on these distance-learning lessons, Morgan may be selected to attend one of four summer residencies hosted at the museum in Seattle this year. During the residency experience, Morgan will collaborate with other student participants on the design of a human mission to Mars.

During the residency 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 students are divided into teams that also require them to learn about mission management, budgets, the legal aspects of space exploration and medicine.

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.

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