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Space Explorers Camp

Outreach & Engagement and the Department of Physics and Astronomy will host three, week-long summer space explorers camps open to all elementary, middle and high school age students! The camp will be led by Shanil Virani, the director of the John C. Wells Planetarium. 

Full Day Camp (rising 5th, 6th, 7th & 8th) July 11-15, 2016

Half Day Camp (rising 2nd, 3rd, & 4th) July 18-22, 2016

Residential (rising 8th, 9th, & 10th) July 24-30, 2016

Using JMU’s unique facilities such as the John C. Wells Planetarium and Science on a Sphere- camp-goers will get a perspective of Earth and other planets like an astronaut would. We seek to inspire and excite the next generation of scientists and engineers. This exciting camp will demonstrate to students that science is constantly changing, constantly uncovering new clues about why our universe is the way it is and not some other way. We will ask questions and then use the scientific method to try to answer them! We will investigate the size and scale of our solar system, learn about the robotic exploration of it, and learn about our own planet Earth and our fragile environment! 

Our Space Explorers Camp provides hands-on learning opportunities to middle and high school students by using many NASA related STEM educational activities. All teachers and students working with the campers will go through a NASA teacher training program so that they are ready to help your children actively engage in learning about space! We will post more information about the schedule as it is available. Content will vary from last year, for those of you who may be returning for a third year. 

Questions? Please contact Katie LaPira at or call 540/568-5532.

Please be aware: The John C. Wells planetarium strives to bring cutting-edge science to JMU as well as to the larger Shenandoah Valley community. Hence, the staff presents established science that is based on consensus from the scientific community. We will present the scientific evidence on topics such as evolution, the Big Bang, age of the Earth, and climate change. All of our presentations, activities, and live star talks make reference to an age of the Universe that is 13.8 billion years old and that our Sun and the Solar System formed ~5 billions years ago. Our staff will not alter their presentations when discussing what some consider controversial science topics.