Virtual air, space summer camps take students to Mars

Scholarships available for up to 100 campers

LUDINGTON — Many summer camps have been canceled because of coronavirus concerns, but that doesn’t mean students can’t reach for the stars.

Michigan students in grades 3-12 can learn about living on Mars, drone racing, astronaut training and more through the Michigan Air and Space Virtual Summer Camp program.

Since the camps are offered virtually, campers will receive kits in the mail with everything they need to build, engineer and problem solve right from home, according to a news release from MiSTEM Network West Central.

“We have hosted summer camps for Colorado students for many years but are excited to work with Michigan students for the first time in a virtual format,” said April Lanotte, educational director at the Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum in Denver. “With Michigan’s aerospace employers and proposed new satellite launch facility, it’s a great time to learn about aviation and aerospace.”

The camps cost $249, but thanks to a $15,000 grant from the Michigan Space Grant Consortium and a matching grant from Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum, full scholarships are available for up to 100 students.

Interested families are encouraged to apply as soon as possible at If selected, parents will sign up for camp through Wings Over the Rockies directly.

The application period ends June 15, or as soon as all scholarships are awarded.

“It’s a one-of-a-kind opportunity provided by NASA’s Space Grant Consortium to reach students who might someday be the first humans to walk on Mars,” MiSTEM Network regional director Lisa Wininger said.

To participate in the virtual program, students need a computer, laptop or tablet to use at home and a reliable internet connection. According to the news release, the weeklong camps run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday.

About two hours will be online; the rest of the time will be self-directed, using kit materials and instructions.

For more information, visit or email


Grades 3-8

Living on Mars (June 22-26): Students will spend the week learning about Mars and how people will travel to, live and work there.

Deep Space Adventures (June 29-July 3): This camp focuses on exciting developments in the space industry and the methods humans might use to reach them.

Grades 6-8

• World of Code (June 29-July 3): Learn the basics of coding through projects, machines, and robots that use codes to operate.

Pilot Pursuit (July 27-31): Led by a Certified Flight Instructor, this camp will introduce the fundamental knowledge areas of piloting using a combination of hands-on and virtual activities.

Art of Aerospace (July 27-31): Participants will have the chance to develop their artistic skills, learning techniques for perspective drawing, photography and 3D-modeling and rendering.

Para estudiantes en los grados 5-9

Listo por Valor, en espanol (July 6-10): Esta program se enfoca en aviones de papeles, los quatros fuerzas de volar, y proyectos practicos por aprender los basicos de aviacion.

Grades 9-12

Engineering for Space Design (July 13-17): This camp simulates the rapid prototyping processes that might be used to address specific needs for astronauts, Martian colonists, and other pioneers. Participants will design, model, and render elaborate 3D scenes, and will have a chance to 3D print an object of their choice.

FPV Drone Racing (July 20-24): Campers will be introduced to First Person View (FPV) drone racing fundamentals, learn to fly in Acro and Angle, practice drone platforms and more. Camp concludes with a multiplayer race competition.