Martian Frontier

Planning your space mission to the red planet

Do you like games?  Have you ever imagined going to the Moon, Mars, or beyond?  Campers will gain confidence, learn space science, and strive to make it to Mars in this combination role-play and academic camp.

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 reach the Martian Frontier.

Learn more about the camp and curriculum.

Dates & Pricing

July 21 – August 1, 2024
$50 registration fee

Payment plans are available.

Scholarships may be available for families with financial need.

Age Groups

Best for students who have completed
7th-10th Grade

Quick Links

On a journey as long as a trip to Mars, your astronauts are sure to need an occasional boost. How will you keep them happy?

  • Include access to a huge library of TV and movies.
  • Give them a tiny garden to care for that makes tasty food.
  • Assign frequent adrenaline pumping space walks.
  • Send along puppies! 🐶

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 Mars.
  • 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.
  • Take a tubing adventure down the river with our friends at Headwaters Outfitters.
  • 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

On a planet hostile to life, where will you land and build your habitat?

  • Near the ice caps for plentiful water.
  • In an ancient hollow lava tube, safe from radiation.
  • Deep in a rift valley with the densest atmosphere.
  • The top of Olympus Mons for the best view! 🌋

Academic Curriculum

To ensure the best experience for each camper, some academic activities will be presented to the entire camp, while other topics may be explored separately by different groups based on age, or pre-exposure to topics.

The camp focuses on mission planning and design.  It will include activities and challenges on topics like:

  • Rocketry and Orbital Mechanics
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Robotics
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Biology and Astrobiology
  • Health, Nutrition, and Food Science
  • Psychology and Sociology
  • Communications and Public Relations
  • Funding and Space Politics
  • Space Law and Ethics
It will enhance skills and experience in:
  • Problem Solving and Critical Thinking
  • Teamwork
  • Presentation Skills
  • Research Skills
  • Communication

Register for Martian Frontier Space Camp