If Star Wars and Wall-E are on a constant loop in your home, you may have a future astronaut on your hands. So why not foster your kiddo’s aspirations of becoming the next Neil Armstrong by enrolling them in space camp?

“Our summer camp program has themed weeks designed to excite kids from ages Pre-K through 12th grade about space,” says Bridget Pronovost, Assistant Director at The Buehler Challenger & Science Center in Paramus. “Campers learn what it is like to live and work in space, build and launch rockets and fly simulated missions.”

If you think your Mini-Me has what it takes to blast off at space camp, here are Pronovost’s top 6 tips to prepare them ahead of time for the out-of-this-world adventure.

  1. Space Camp“Go to the NASA website with your kids to explore together. It has lots of information about space spin-offs, technologies that were developed for use in space but have been adapted to improve our lives here on Earth.
  2. “Watch Apollo 13. This helps older students understand the importance of mission control, teamwork and what a successful failure is.”
  3. “Discuss the differences between living on earth versus living in microgravity. This helps students understand these differences and the difficulties with space travel.”
  4. “Make, buy and eat dehydrated space food. This helps students understand why we use dehydrated food versus hydrated food for lift-off. Dehydrated food enables us to have less weight onboard the spacecraft.”
  5. “Read the Star Challengers trilogy. Students in the book embark on a simulated mission at a Challenger Center only to realize it’s not a simulation!”
  6. “Watch space movies together. This gets students excited about space, the space program and careers in STEM, an acronym for science, technology, engineering and math.”

For more information about any of this year’s summer camp programs offered at The Buehler Challenger & Science Center, visit their camp directory or call 201-251-8589.

Buehler Challenger & Science Center Space Camp Programs

Rocket Girls

Rocket Girls

Monday, June 27, 2016 - Friday, July 1, 2016: 5th-8th Grade Girls. Encourage girls to use science, math and technology to shape their future! Fly simulated missions to Comet Halley, the Moon and Mars. Build and launch rockets. Design Challenges. Egg Drop Challenge. Call Us @ 201-251-8589

lift off

Lift Off

Tuesday, June 28, 2016 - Thursday, June 30, 2016: 1st & 2nd Grades. Three days of science fun! Lift-off in shuttle simulator. Parachute Design Challenge. Flying Objects,Volcanoes, Ripple Tanks. Call Us @ 201-251-8589


Space Travelers

Friday, July 1, 2016: Pre-K & Kindergarten. Spend three hours as a space traveler. Learn to live and work in space. Experiment with rockets. Lift-off in our shuttle simulator. Call Us @ 201-251-8589

Astronaut Rookies

Astronaut Rookies

Wednesday, July 6, 2016 - Friday, July 8, 2016: 3rd & 4th Grades. New themed space lab each day! Lift-off in shuttle simulator. StarLab Planetarium. Rocketry, Robotics.  Call Us @ 201-251-8589

living in space

Living & Working in Space

Monday, July 11, 2016 - Friday, July 15, 2016: 5th & 6th Grades. Learn about life in space. Simulate what it is like to eat, sleep and work in space. Team building challenges. Build and launch rockets. Learn about living in Microgravity! Call Us @ 201-251-8589

Life in the Universe?

Is there Life in the Universe?

Monday, July 18, 2016 - Friday, July 22, 2016: 5th & 6th Grades. Campers will explore the concept of life elsewhere in the universe!  Hands- on activities to learn about the criteria for life beyond our system. Learn about the technology needed to search for life beyond our solar system. Call Us @ 201-251-8589

Preparing for Flight

Preparing for Flight

Monday, July 25, 2016 - Friday, July 29, 2016: 7th & 8th Grades. Campers act as astronauts experiencing the rigors of simulated training and missions to space! Build planes, water rockets,  engine rockets & airport of the future. Fly simulated space missions to Comet Halley, the Moon and Mars! Call Us @ 201-251-8589

Product Engineering

Product Engineering

Monday, August 1, 2016 - Friday, August 5, 2016: 9th-12th Grades. Exposure to engineering challenges to encourage careers in math and science. Employ the engineering design process to tackle challenges similar to those faced by NASA engineers. Fly missions in the space simulators! Call Us @ 201-251-8589

Hero (Top) Feature Image: © Konstantin Yuganov / Adobe Stock
Additional Image Courtesy: Mitsu Yasukaswa, The Record, Bergen County (Used with permission)

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