We are lucky to live in the most exciting and dynamic time for space exploration, with new discoveries and missions making their way via mainstream media into homes around the world. The next decade will bring new challenges and incredible findings that may have been unimaginable just years ago. And it’s today’s generation of kids who will be at the forefront of it all – so what better place to spark the curiosity of young minds than the U.S. Space & Rocket Center?
A variety of single- and multi-day programs lets kids and adults alike an inside view into the center’s world-renowned facilities with features such as Shuttle and Rocket Park, orbit simulators, the International Space Station exhibit, IMAX® theater experience, labs and presentations. Through hands-on learning, kids can develop their critical thinking, gain new life skills, learn about the depths of space, and of course have a blast while doing it. Visitors to the U.S. Space & Rocket Center have gone on to become NASA astronauts, engineers and scientists – so you never know just how much a group visit can impact young minds for years to come.
Check out the wide variety of group options available year-round:
Ultimate Field Trip
The U.S. Space & Rocket Center makes for an unforgettable field trip experience that brings the classroom to life with over a thousand artifacts from the country’s space program. Ride the simulators, visit the exhibits, and get hands on in the science lab in a full day that is sure to ignite a spark of curiosity that lasts long after the field trip ends. A tour guide will give your group a personalized look at the Center, including Shuttle Park and Rocket Park, the public museum simulators, the Science on Orbit exhibit, IMAX® space experiences and Sally Ride EarthKAM.
This experience is for groups of 15 or more, with recommended time frame of three to six hours.
Daily Space Adventure
Each day the U.S. Space & Rocket Center challenges young minds and opens its doors to generations who are truly the future of space exploration. Around 1,500 artifacts from the U.S. space program fill the center, including an authentic Saturn V moon rocket and Pathfinder, the world’s only full-scale space shuttle stack. In a half or full day, visitors can check out Shuttle and Rocket Parks, step inside the thrilling simulators, take in an IMAX® space experience and get hands on in the labs and exhibitions.
A 1:10 ratio of chaperones to students is requested for this group adventure.
Programs for Scouts
Looking for the perfect destination for a scouting group? Space camp is the ideal mix of fun and education, with a variety of options for both Boy and Girl Scouts. Boys Scouts can earn merit badges in the camp’s overnight summer programs, including the Space Exploration, Aviation and Robotics badges. Space Camp is also a Destination Program of the Girl Scouts, which sends girls to camp each summer.
To make the most of a visit, reserve one of the center’s overnight programs, including Pathfinder®, which is an exciting introduction to Space Camp, Aviation Challenge Camp, or Space Camp Robotics in a three-day, two-night program for grades 4-8. A slightly shorter option, Surveyor™ is a one-night structured educational adventure that allows students and parents the opportunity to experience the excitement of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center.
Youth Leadership Retreat
The U.S. Space & Rocket Center isn’t just for space discovery – it’s also the ideal place for students to develop leadership and personal skills that will stay with them as they head into college and beyond. For those in grades 10-12, customized Youth Leadership Retreats are three-day/two-night programs that help participants develop competencies that are in high demand in today’s global workforce. Problem solving, purposeful communication, leadership initiative, and increased self-confidence are brought into play through various challenges and team building. The high and low ropes courses will challenge participants to step outside of their comfort zones as they ascend the 35-foot pole or scale the 50-foot climbing wall in the ever-popular Area 51 Challenge Course. Everyone is sure to leave with a newfound set of skills.
Tuition is $249 per person, with a $150 group registration fee. Lodging and meals are included on site.
Team building and personal development are key pieces of learning at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, and the facility has both high and low ropes courses where groups can put their skills to the test. On the low ropes, teams work together on a mission involving brainstorming, making plans, delegating tasks, communicating effectively and trust. Once these skills come together effectively, the group succeeds. On the high ropes course, everyone can choose their level of difficulty and practice stepping outside their comfort zone for a thrilling challenge. Climb the 50-foot wall, scale a 32-foot pole, and fly down the blood-pumping zip line. These experiences are not only fun but also ideal ways to build confidence, trust and communication skills.
The ropes course is designed for groups of 8 or more. Participants must be 12 or older, and those under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Scuba Experience – Underwater Astronaut Training
In this adrenaline-pumping, two-hour session, groups will learn scuba safety skills from one of the camp’s certified instructors, then put those skills to the test while they dive to the bottom of the tank to launch a mission – all while mastering the challenges of simulated microgravity.
The program can be booked with a minimum of three participants 14 or older, and those under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
Start planning your next group outing to the U.S. Space & Rocket Center today.
The U. S. Space & Rocket Center will supplement its existing artifacts and exhibits in 2019 with an all-new main exhibit entitled “Apollo: When We Went to the Moon.” The exhibit will highlight the Space Race, the period of time the United States and the Soviet Union competed for significant accomplishments in space exploration. Events throughout the year celebrating the anniversary will include a 1960s car show, dances and an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for simultaneous model rocket launches.
New to the Center is “Alien Worlds and Asteroids,” where students can embark on a simulated journey in a Mars rover, discover how science fiction influences real-world technology and learn about emerging breakthroughs in artificial intelligence. Also an emerging favorite with student groups is the “Spark!Lab,” which was developed in a partnership with the Smithsonian Institution’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation. Interactive spaces encourage visitors to unlock their inner engineer with various design challenges like cleaning the ocean and designing a flying machine.