On July 3, eight teams of high school students and educators from around the world will rendezvous in the United States to carry out their mission as the latest recipients of the Astronaut Al Worden Endeavour Scholarship.

Representing Australia, Chile, Poland, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States, Mission Teams #13 through #20, the Endeavour “Class of 2024″ will gather in Washington, DC, first for three days of cultural exchange and team building (including U.S. Independence Day celebrations on the National Mall) before flying to Huntsville, AL, for a week-long, hands-on, astronaut team training experience at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center Space Camp.

The Endeavour Scholarship is the lead corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative of Kallman Worldwide, the U.S. representative and organizer of the centerpiece USA Partnership Pavilion at many of the world’s most influential trade events. The not-for-profit program was launched in 2019 by company President and CEO, Tom Kallman, to honor his friend and colleague, Worden, pilot of the Apollo 15 Command Module “Endeavour.”

The two shared a passion for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education that led to Worden serving as Kallman’s STEM ambassador at trade shows around the world from 2016 until his passing in 2020. He was succeeded in this role by Apollo 16 Lunar Module Pilot, Charlie Duke who passed the torch to former NASA Space Shuttle Commander, Mike Bloomfield in 2023.

To date, Endeavour has awarded scholarships to 80 students and 20 educators from nine countries. The all-expenses paid scholarships are funded entirely by private donations.

The 2024 USA Endeavour selections were competitive, and while all asked applicants to explain their passions for STEM and how they would represent their countries as “Endeavour Ambassadors,” variations on the theme reflected cultural differences and interests. For example, the competition in Poland — which drew the interest of some 2,000 applicants — asked students to submit a three-minute video explaining their passion for STEAM (STEM plus the Arts) and how they would apply STEAM to create a better world. The nationwide Singapore competition asked students to submit a seven-minute video and a one-page summary addressing the challenge of sending people to colonize Proxima Centauri, the closest star to the sun.

From nation to nation, Endeavour partners include national space agencies such as the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre in Dubai and the Polish Space Agency in Gdansk; trade event organizers such as Singapore Airshow parent Experia Events and AMDA, the not-for-profit champion for Australia’s aviation, aerospace, space, maritime, defense, and security industries on an international scale; and professional associations such as the Colegio de Ingenieros de Chile, the national membership society of engineers, and Sisters of the Skies, a U.S. champion for Black women in aviation.

“Worldwide support for Endeavour is deeply gratifying and exemplifies the spirit of partnership that fuels this program,” said Kallman. “Every country we work in — and we’ve worked in at least 50 of them since our company was founded in 1963 — is facing the same challenges to prepare its young people for the future. Many also see that future in space. As an extension of our work advancing global trade in exhibition halls around the world, and with the support of global partners in government, industry, the military, and academia, the Endeavour Scholarship connects with worldwide interest in space to promote STEM careers in all industries.”

Sisters of the Skies President, Theresa Claiborne, said her organization’s partnership with Endeavour has introduced a new global dimension to its programming.

“Sisters of the Skies was founded to create more career opportunities for Black women in aviation through mentorship, scholarship, and outreach, and our cooperation with the Endeavour Scholarship and the U.S. Space & Rocket Center Education Foundation to send U.S. national teams to Space Camp this year puts new international possibilities on our radar,” she said. “We’re thankful for the opportunity, and excited to see collaboration among the students and educators we selected from across America and their counterparts from around the world take flight. If they can see it, they can be it!”