About Michael P. Anderson
In 2003, Washington native Lt. Col. Michael P. Anderson was one of seven American heroes who perished aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia as it hurtled to earth. From his blue-collar foundations, Michael aspired to fly and explore the universe. His dreams came true, he said, through hard work, dedication and a commitment to achievement. Michael tirelessly talked about those same qualities to every child he spoke with during his many school and community presentations in Washington and around the country.
National research tells us that the chances of at-risk children graduating from high school improve when opportunities are structured so that students have meaningful extended learning experiences coupled with positive self-esteem and adult role models.
Children in middle school—grades 6 through 9—participate in the Michael Anderson Aerospace Program at The Museum of Flight. They spend time learning about science, engineering, flight dynamics and navigation in hands-on, state-of-the-art labs and simulators. They are mentored by aerospace professionals, including Alaska Airlines Pilots, military aviators, Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OBAP), Tuskegee Airmen, and Museum of Flight staff—taking them places and creating dreams many had never before considered.