Summer Camps


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PARI’s summer STEM and space exploration, and astronomy 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.

Learn about scholarships and new camps as soon as they become available!

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.

PARI Summer Camps

Mission Control: Exoplanet Exploration
-Do you have what it takes to plan a mission to another planet?

Gain confidence, learn space science, and strive to make it to a new world in this combination role-play—academic camp.  The wide variety of topics makes this camp a good fit for a range of interests.  You’ll tackle challenges in space craft and habitat design, astronaut health and well-being, and capturing public interest while swaying others to support your plan.

This camp is designed for middle and high school aged campers.

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.

This camp is designed for high school aged campers.

Clemson & PARI Summer Camps

Milky Way Trailblazers
-Map the Milky Way and plot a path for future explorers!

Discover how to chart the distribution of hydrogen gas and its movement in our home galaxy as a galactic cartographer.  You’ll use giant NASA built radio telescopes to uncover data that can’t be captured any other way.  This camp is part of a partnership with Clemson University and includes a field trip to their astronomy research labs.

This camp is designed for high school aged campers.

Secrets of a Spy Station
Encrypted messages, codes, and ciphers!

What better setting than PARI, which once operated as a spy station for the Department of Defense during the Cold War, where messages were being intercepted and deciphered?  Another element in the sending of secrets is how you transport them from place to place.  We’ll take a look at the technologies, both past and present, that allow information to zip out to distant satellites and back down to Earth.  How do we make sure our sensitive transmissions don’t end up in the wrong hands?

This camp is designed for middle school aged campers.

Learn more about camps:

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

Camp Refund Policy

No refunds will be given.

If a camper cannot attend due to a positive COVID19 test and/or is quarantining in accordance with current CDC recommendations, a credit, or transfer to a later camp, can be arranged.  Proof of a positive test administered by a medical professional will be required.

If a camper is unable to attend for any other reason we must receive notification at least 14 days prior to the start of their camp session. We will attempt to transfer to another session if capacity allows.  If this is not possible a credit to be used for a later camp will be issued.

Thank you to those who help make our camps possible!