Clemson & PARI

Together like binary stars!

Clemson University and the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute have partnered to create new Summer Research Experiences.

Our programs for middle school and high school aged campers provide hands-on explorations into astronomy and space science and the tools to make discoveries of their own.

  • Explore the universe with state of the art STEM technology, like NASA built radio telescopes, research grade optical telescopes, and one of the world’s largest archives of astronomical data.
  • Conduct independent and group research under the mentorship of astronomers and scientists. Campers will earn an official research certificate and will have their work published in PARI’s summer research proceedings, with an opportunity to submit their work to a regional conference.
  • Tour cutting edge astronomy research labs at Clemson University
  • Have a blast with fellow campers through STEM challenges, field trips, games, and more! (river tubing, hiking, PARI Ball, campfires, swimming at waterfalls, and rocketry competitions, to name a few)

Camp Descriptions - Reach You Next Frontier!

Milky Way Trailblazers

Mission: Galactic Cartography – Map the Milky Way and plot a path

A two week research experience for high school aged campers

  • Investigate the composition and motion of our galaxy with giant radio telescopes, identify areas of interest, and blaze a trail for future explorers.
  • Research teams will be responsible for different qualities and regions but will rely on each other to complete the mission.
  • Conduct individual research on how light is used to communicate with distant missions in the past and present. Propose your own techniques for the future!
  • Guest speakers share their experiences working in space science and their paths to a career in the future of exploration and discovery.
  • Launch Rockets, fire projectiles, design landing craft.
  • Visit and experience a day at Clemson University and interact with the College of Science their labs and professors.
  • Swim at waterfalls and tube down rivers, hike in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and star gaze under world class dark skies!

Space Cadets

Mission: Prepare for Space Exploration – Experience what it takes to travel beyond Earth

A one week adventure for middle school aged campers

  • Did you know that most of the images you see of space are of things that are invisible to our eyes?  How can we find them, make pictures, and learn about them?  You’ll find things like invisible space rainbows and discover what interstellar space smells like.
  • Learn to use gigantic radio telescopes built by NASA and get the tools you need to make images of the Sun with them.  Combine your work with other teams and make a movie of our Sun, in radio.
  • Get up close with meteorites.  Hold them, learn how to study and identify them, even set foot on a piece of the Moon.  Then, eliminate the imposters, or “meteor-wrongs” to identify your own meteorite to keep.
  •  Visit Clemson University and see what scientists there are up to.  Visit a waterfall to go for a swim, and hunt for elusive flora and fauna long the way.
  • Build and launch rockets, protect marshmallow astronauts from a great fall, control robots like those on Mars, eat and exercise like an astronaut, and build a model to simulate gravity.

Dates & Registration

Milky Way Trailblazers

Arrival: Sunday, July 17th
Departure: Saturday, July 30th
Cost: $3,910

Space Cadets

Arrival: Sunday, June 26th
Departure: Saturday, July 2nd
Cost: $1,650