Cassidy Forler has the right stuff.
The Eatonville High School student is a participant in Phase One of the 2012-13 Washington Aerospace Scholars (WAS). The program is a free, competitive science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education opportunity for high school juniors from across Washington. It is affiliated with NASA Johnson Space Center’s National High School Aerospace Scholars program and the University of Washington’s Department of Earth and Space Science.
Phase One participants can receive five University of Washington credits in Space and Space Travel (ESS 102) upon completion of the online WAS curriculum. The course counts toward graduation from UW.
Forler was one of 285 students from 117 public or private high schools and homeschool organizations who applied last fall for WAS, and is now one of the 218 students participating in it. Having already completed five online lessons, Forler will spend three months competing for one of the 160 spots available in a summer residency at The Museum of Flight in Seattle this June and July, officials said.
To qualify for the residency, students must complete 10 online lessons, consisting of research essays, space-related math problems, and detailed graphics that illustrate their ideas. Students who move on to the summer residency will collaborate on the design of a human mission to Mars, guided by professional engineers, scientists, university students and educators.
The program, which is in its seventh year, is supported financially by Boeing, Washington NASA Space Grant Consortium, The GenCorp Foundation, BAE Systems and individual donors. The support covers program expenses, allowing free participation by students.
Washington Aerospace Scholars applications for the 2013-14 program cycle will be available this summer at www.museumofflight.org/was.