Winners of this NASA award inspired by the Transformer character named Optimus Prime are invited to meet Peter Cullen, the actor who gave his voice to the film, and enjoy a behind-the-scenes workshop at the NASA Goddard facility in Maryland. Applicants from grades 9-12 must design a multimedia poster using a tool called Glogster to suggest a spinoff product based on NASA technologies.
Each February the Fiesta Bowl Aerospace Challenge in Mesa, Arizona, challenges grade school and junior high students to design models and give presentations for a sustainable habitat on a moon within the solar system. The winning team receives an all-expenses-paid trip to Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama, and the next Fiesta Bowl, a major collegiate football event held in Arizona, where the team will be honored on the field.
The AOPA High School Flight Training Scholarship is offered to pilot trainees ages 15 to 18. The AOPA Foundation Scholarship seeks pilot trainees ages 16 and over. And the AOPA AV8RS Scholarship is intended for teens from 13 through 18 for a number of aviation-related goals beyond flight training. Awards range from $2,500 to $12,000 and some require a membership in AOPA (the first six months of membership is free to students). All flight training applicants must hold an FAA student pilot certificate. Profiles of previous winners are online.
An exhaustive list of colleges, flight schools, and technical training organizations may provide free tuition or substantial subsidies to veterans of the U.S. military under the G.I. Bill from the Department of Veterans Affairs, and in some cases for their spouse and children. Hundreds of specialties are covered by the bill, from drone operation to rotorcraft to mechanical skills. Check with Veterans Affairs for your eligibility and for career counseling, then search for and compare educational opportunities using their search engine. For example, as only one of hundreds of listings, the Jeppesen unit of Boeing company provides a fully-paid six week course and housing for aircraft dispatching, to eligible veterans under the GI Bill.
Aerospace and defense company Raytheon sponsors a range of scholarships and competitions for middle-school and high-school age students to promote science, technology, math and engineering. Some are limited to children of Raytheon employees, while others provide up to $10,000 per person for student military veterans, and surviving children of fallen military members. The company also offers an internship for women to focus on cyber security, scholarships for robotics, grants to schools to help implement the MathMovesU program, and $3,000 stipends to elementary school teachers to improve their engineering education.
The Aero Club of New England offers at least 13 scholarships for residents of New England enrolled at its region’s schools. Since 1984, the club has raised money from member companies as well as an annual hangar cookout to fund its education scholarship program. Awards from $200 to $5,000 are primarily distributed to students enrolled at Daniel Webster College, Bridgewater State College, and North Shore Community College, with the remainder to flight schools based in New England.
The Aircraft Electronics Association lists more than 20 scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $35,000 and has distributed $1.5 million in scholarships to students focusing on electronics and maintenance. Its member companies will offer scholarships in 2017 for both academic and vocational training for high school seniors or college students. In addition, employees of its member companies can apply for scholarships for flight training.
Since 1977, the Women’s Transportation Seminar has provided a networking forum for women in the transportation field with a focus on aviation, and offers eight categories of awards covering tuition fees, conference registrations. Some of its criteria emphasize sustainability, land use, and environmental impact of transportation. Funded by donations from its 6,500 members, WTS has given away $50,000 in scholarships.
This professional association for aviation education sets quality standards and lobbies on behalf of educators. The association sells a Collegiate Aviation Scholarship listing of 700 awards from 94 institutions broadly related to aviation for $24.95 but also lists several scholarship opportunities at no charge directly on its web page.