Sedro-Woolley High School students accepted for Washington Aerospace Scholars program

Sedro-Woolley High School students Garrett Dressor and Joseph Janicki have been accepted to participate in the first phase of the Washington Aerospace Scholars program, Reps. Dan Kristiansen and Kirk Pearson announced today.

The program offers 247 selected high school juniors from across the state the ability to explore science, technology, engineering and math, and apply their talents to the field of aerospace.

Kristiansen and Pearson say it’s a wonderful way to encourage young people to consider entering a career that involves the aerospace industry.

“We have such great technology that has emerged over many years of research and applications in aerospace, and many people think it’s just the tip of the iceberg. With new, bright young minds showing interest in this field, who knows what new technologies will be developed in the next 10 or 20 years?” said Kristiansen, R-Snohomish. “Our state has long been the leader in the aerospace industry. However, to keep it competitive, we also need a highly-skilled and trained workforce, ranging from engineers to the line workers who tighten the bolts. The Washington Aerospace Scholars program is a remarkable way to expand the minds of young people into this industry.”

“This program is particularly important for our students because we need an entire new generation of explorers and inventors of new technology to be engaged in math and science. The Washington Aerospace Scholars program does just that,” said Pearson, R-Monroe. “Washington leads the nation in aerospace technology, and this program ensures students are exposed to the way space exploration and air travel have changed the way we protect our nation, communicate globally and search our galaxy for the next steps in space travel. It’s incredibly exciting for these students and I could not be more proud.”

The program is offered in two phases. In phase one, students complete a series of online lessons designed by NASA that are due every two weeks through May.  The lessons include items such as the math equations used to designate the correct timing for the re-entry of the space shuttle into the earth’s atmosphere so it can successfully land at one of the three designated landing strips in the United States. Another lesson explores the calculations engineers would use to send a spacecraft to Mars. Students are also asked to design an innovation that would be able to assist astronauts to construct a space station in outer space.

At the end of phase one, up to 160 of the top-performing students who meet the program’s qualifications will be chosen to participate in the next phase.

Phase two is a six-day summer residency program. Under this program, students will work with professional engineers and scientists at the Museum of Flight in Seattle where they will participate in various activities and challenges. Some of the activities include discussions of space flight, designing an interplanetary mission to Mars, building and launching model rockets, design and testing of payload lofting systems, landing devices, and robotic rovers.

The program is funded entirely by private donations and commercial sponsors.

“I’m very proud of our young people who are participating in this worthwhile program. I think it will open up a world of opportunities for them and eventually provide the ability for the aerospace industry to benefit from fresh new minds and new ideas,” added Kristiansen.

“Each generation brings a unique view of what can be accomplished through technology. I am looking forward to seeing the new discoveries and inventions these bright young students bring forward in the future,” Pearson said.

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John Sattgast, Information Officer: (360) 786-7257
Bobbi Cussins, Information Officer: (360) 786-7252


Washington State House Republican Communications