Exoplanet Exploration

Can you find a new home for humanity and get them there?

green laser pointing at stars with viewers

Do you like challenges?  Have you ever wondered what it would be like to feel the warmth of another star or breathe the air of a different planet?  

Campers will stretch their problem solving skills, learn space science, and work with real data to find planets around other stars.  They’ll then plan a mission and strive to send their team to a planet beyond our solar system in this combination role-play and academic camp with a focus on engineering and identification of exoplanets.

This immersive journey amidst our historic campus, simulates the processes that NASA and aerospace companies use to go to outer space.

Campers will prioritize mission goals, design space craft and instruments, choose a capable and diverse crew, and navigate funding and ethical challenges in this scenario to choose their planet and launch their Exoplanet Exploration.

Learn more about the camp and curriculum.

Dates & Pricing

June 11, 2023 – June 22, 2023
$50 registration fee

Payment plans available.

Scholarships may be available for families with financial need.

Age Groups

For Rising
8th-11th Graders

Quick Links

Your team must choose the most suitable exoplanet for humans to visit and built a habitat. What qualities are most important?

  • Gravity that is comfortable and healthy for the human body?
  • An atmosphere that is breathable without special suits? 🧑‍🚀
  • A day and night cycle that matches the human circadian rhythm? 🌚
  • Vast oceans and plenty of water? 🌊

Camp Description

  • Campers will examine, research, and execute their mission plan using many scientific principles including rocketry, engineering,  Astrophysics, Biology, Food Science and more.
  • Independently and as a team, campers will work through a series of activities designed to encourage research and decision-making with the ultimate goal to launch a fully thought-out, scientifically sound mission to a planet around another star.  (One tiny bit of science fiction included, only to facilitate interstellar travel.)
  • When a team addresses a challenge, they’ll report their findings back to the group and present what they believe is the best course of action.  But, every path has pros and cons, and decisions may effect the work of another team.
  • PARI staff, counselors, and special guests who actively work in the space science and related fields will guide campers through their mission.
  • This camp is designed to engage campers with a wide variety of interests and skills.  Activities are scaled to to each session to be challenging, but achievable.
  • It’s about more than just science.  Campers will need to navigate through tasks like choosing a crew and communicating with the public to keep their interest high.  Every choice could change the path of the mission in surprising ways, opening some paths, while closing others!

Surrounded by natural beauty in a forest perfect for adventure

PARI embraces our unique location with plenty of time outside of the classroom too.

Field Trips & Activities

  • Hike in the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Pisgah National Forest to take in amazing views.
  • Visit dramatic cascades in PARI’s home in The Land of Waterfalls, then go swimming nearby or tubing.
  • Take a break with the best ice cream around at one of our favorite ice cream shops.
  • Toast marshmallows, make s’mores, tell stories, listen to music, and be dazzled by the atmosphere around our giant camp fire.
  • Compete in challenges to build the most powerful rocket or a lander that can withstand whatever it’s thrown at.
  • Design spacey t-shirts.
  • Search for the answers hidden around you in our camp long scavenger hunt.
  • Unwind in the rec room with board games, puzzles, pool-table, ping-pong, foosball, and air-hockey, or kick back and relax.
  • Master our signature game, PARI Ball

Getting everything your astronauts will need to another planet will take some creativity. What ideas will you explore?

  • A cutting edge rocket that has never been used before for human space flight? 🚀
  • Divide and conquer with lots of small rockets to get supplies there ahead of time. 
  • A massive ship built in orbit that will never need to lift off from Earth. 💫

Academic Curriculum

  • Rocketry and Orbital Mechanics
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Robotics
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Biology and Astrobiology
  • Astronaut Health & Wellness
  • Communications and Public Relations
  • Funding and Space Politics
  • Space Law and Ethics
  • Exoplanet Detection Methods and Determination of Characteristics
It will enhance skills and experience in:
  • Problem Solving and Critical Thinking
  • Teamwork
  • Presentation Skills
  • Research Skills
  • Communication

Register for Exoplanet Exploration Space Camp

Get ready for camp with out of this world PARI accessories

Each pattern is available on a huge variety of items.  Click one to see everything you can choose from!