Tonasket student accepted into Washington Aerospace Scholars Program

SEATTLE – Russell Perry from Tonasket will be participating in the Washington Aerospace Scholars Summer Residency Program July 17-22 at the Museum of Flight in Seattle this summer.

Washington Aerospace Scholars (WAS) is a competitive educational program for high school juniors from across Washington State. Perry was among the 160 students who qualified for the WAS Summer Residency program from 290 students who applied in November.

To qualify for the residency program, Russell of Tonasket High School spent six months studying a NASA-designed, distance-learning curriculum via the Internet. Based on his academic performance on the distance-learning lessons, he was selected to attend one of the four residencies hosted at The Museum of Flight this summer. During the residency experience, he will collaborate with the other student 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 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.

In addition to the design of the human mission to Mars, he and the other WAS scholars will participate 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 will 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, NAE, retired NASA astronaut. They will also visit Everett, Wash., for a behind-the-scenes tour of the Boeing Commercial Airplane assembly plant, (including the new 787), tour Aerojet’s Redmond facilities, and the engineering laboratories at the University of Washington. As a graduate of WAS, Russell will join over 700 program alumni, representing 170 different Washington high schools.

All room and board are provided to students free of charge by the Washington Aerospace Scholars Foundation. The program has been supported by Governor Chris Gregoire, The Apex Foundation, The Aldarra Foundation, The Boeing Company, Microsoft, Battelle, The Washington Space Grant Consortium, GenCorp 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, and Washington State Legislators.

Washington Aerospace Scholars will be accepting applications for students and teachers in early September for the 2011-2012 program cycle; visit to download an application. WAS participants must be high school juniors, United States citizens and Washington State residents. Teachers must be currently practicing, Washington State certified educators, and must also be U.S. Citizens. The deadline for applications is November 4, 2011.

For more information, please contact Washington Aerospace Scholars at 206-764-5866 or