Availability for visits during summer of 2021 is full.  Contact info@pari.edu if you would like to be placed on a waiting list.

Above and Beyond


optical telescope at PARI

Above and Beyond is PARI’s signature camping experience designed to immerse high school students in the world of space science and research while building confidence and critical thinking skills.

Originally developed in partnership with Duke University and refined for nearly two decades, this space camp explores the universe through astronomy, physics, and astrobiology, while also providing time for adventure and fun.

The process followed by scientists and researchers who’ve made space science their career is modeled to show how new discoveries are made about the universe.  Campers are provided the tools and guided through the process by professionals who have made space their life’s work.

From determining the expansion speed of a super-nova remnant, to characterizing an exo-planet or finding evidence of dark matter; your data will real and your conclusions will add humanity’s knowledge of the universe!

Learn more about the camp and curriculum.

Dates & Pricing

July 4, 2021 – July 15, 2021

July 4, 2021 – July 22, 2021

Discounts available for Space Science at Home purchasers.

Age Groups

For Rising
9th-12th Graders

Quick Links

Camp Description

  • Campers are given the knowledge and tools required to conduct an investigation into a celestial object and draw conclusions from their findings. Work is done in teams and models the process used by researchers to produce publishable work.
  • Campers will also investigate current astrobiological research on life in space, human or otherwise, giving campers a chance to show their individual work.
  • The work they produce will be shared in the same ways commonly used at space science conferences, events, and publications.
  • Guest speakers share their experiences working in space science and their paths to a career in the future of exploration and discovery.
  • Campers will use radio telescopes, optical telescopes, and data archives to gain the information they need to study their chosen celestial objects.  They may even build an instrument themselves.
  • PARI’s emphasis on community and teamwork enables campers to establish friendships that last a lifetime.  Many campers from this program return as interns and counselors.
  • Campers will participate in fun and engaging recreational activities built to encourage social comradery and confidence while exploring the spectacular Pisgah Forest and Blue Ridge Mountain region.

Academic Curriculum

  • Learn and apply fundamental concepts of astrophysics and astrobiology.
  • Learn to use radio telescopes and antennas and work with the data they collect
  • Learn to use optical telescopes located both at PARI and at sites around the world.
  • Create a research plan and share their progress.
  • Analyze data and compare with expectations and the work done by other scientists.
  • Formulate conclusions using scientific data.
  • Strengthen problem solving skills.
  • Sharpen presentation skills through the delivery of scientific findings to an audience of peers and professionals.
  • Develop teamwork skills by collaborating with others while attempting to solve complex problems.

*(It is highly recommended that campers have competence in Algebra prior to attending Above and Beyond.)

Register for Above and Beyond Space Camp