Summer Camps

SPEND YOUR SUMMER WITH PARI AND REACH YOUR NEXT FRONTIER.

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PARI’s summer STEM and space camp programming is designed to inspire your young scientist’s curiosity, passion and confidence to discover something extraordinary. We give campers experiences that encourage deeper thinking and problem solving skills while finding opportunities for comradery, adventure, and fun in the incredible Pisgah Forest region.

PARI has a camp for every student scientist:

Our Mission Control camps provide simulated missions that cover the many topics and skills necessary for a successful exploration of world beyond our own.  We’ll use the same kinds of processes that NASA, SpaceX and others use in developing and conducting journeys into space.  

These missions teach teamwork and STEM principles while giving campers fun and exciting experiences. The camp is an immersive journey amidst our historic campus which played a critical role in the first space race, and will help poise your camper for a role in the next.

Teams will research real technologies and techniques to build and launch a spacecraft, set science and research goals, and ensure everything needed is sent along.  They will also need to choose a crew and care for their health and well-being, perform outreach and gain public support, and navigate funding and political challenges.

PARI’s research based camps are aimed at the camper who wants to experience what its like to be a researcher in astronomy, astrophysics, and astrobiology.  Scientists and researchers with careers in space science lead this academically challenging curriculum that has been refined for nearly two decades.

Camps begin with an intense first few days of introductions to the instruments, science, and math needed to conduct research.  They’ll be guided through choosing a research goal from the menu investigations we believe they can successfully conduct with radio and optical telescopes, and vast archives, provided by PARI and its partners.

The importance of both individual and team based work is emphasized while campers are guided through the research process.  They’ll learn to share their progress and conclusions in the same ways expected in journals and at astronomical conferences.

Mission Control: Martian Frontier
-Perfect for first time campers, engaging for everyone!

Gain confidence, learn space science, and strive to make it to Mars in this combination role-play—academic camp.  The wide variety of topics makes this camp a good fit for a range of ages and experience levels.  We recommend it as a great starting point in PARI’s summer camp offerings.

Mission Control: Exoplanet Exploration
-Deeper Space, Deeper Challenges!

Lead a journey beyond our solar system in this mission scenario.  Do you have what it takes to establish a foothold for humanity under the light of a distant star?  Campers will use space science and real data about planets beyond our own pocket of the Milky Way to make decisions about where their mission will go and what they will need to be successful.


Above & Beyond
-Models the research process followed by professionals in space science!

Our signature and most academically intensive camp explores the universe through astronomy, physics, and astrobiology.  Use real research-grade instruments and data to investigate objects like super-nova remnants and distant star clusters.  One small step as a space explorer, one giant step in launching your career in space.

Register for one of PARI’s summer STEM and space camp programs.