Stars & STEM is designed for groups of students in kindergarten through 12th grade who want to learn outside the classroom while experiencing the wonders of space exploration through STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

We provide engaging, hands-on activities developed to match each grade level’s standards so students are challenged, inspired and eager to explore STEM concepts when they return to school.

Stars & STEM robotics

Overview

  • Exciting, hands-on activities
  • Grade-level appropriate learning
  • Dinner served at Space Center Houston
  • Private guided tram tour to NASA Johnson Space Center
  • Second-day visit to Space Center Houston
  • EVA 23 documentary screening

Price

  • $59.95 per student
  • $59.95 per adult for additional adults
  • $15 per T-shirt (optional)

Registration

Download the registration form and email it to reservations@spacecenter.org or fax it to +1 281-283-4766. Questions about registration can be answered by our reservations team at +1 281-283-4755. Please note that attendees ages 18 and younger must have a chaperone.

Stars & STEM activities

Select from engaging activities that interest your group and meet your standards or curriculum. Please choose three of five activities from the options below when completing the registration form.

Elementary

Grades K-2 (ages 5-7)

  • Lunar Lander – Why is it important to land a spacecraft gently on the surface of another celestial body? Design and build a shock-absorbing landing system to help protect your astronauts.
  • Blast Off! – Newton’s laws of motion are a part of any rocket launch. Apply varying amounts of force on their launch pad and assess the changes in how high their rockets fly!
  • Programming Paths – When robots help us to explore a new area, they need the correct commands to do it safely. Learn to solve programming challenges as you code your own robot to explore.
  • Training for Exploration – Astronauts need to have a healthy mind and body to take on the challenges of living and working in space. Pass your astronaut training course as you prepare for space exploration!
  • Pinhole Planetarium – Satellites and spacecraft help us to explore our solar system and learn more about the stars. Design and build your own circuits as you learn about light emitting diodes (LED), conductors and electricity.

Buy Tickets

STars & STEM stomp rocket launch

  • Jan. 8, 17, 22
  • Feb. 12, 20, 27, 28*
  • March 5, 20, 29*
  • April 2, 4, 8, 10, 22, 25*, 26
  • May 1, 7, 13, 17, 23, 29, 30*
  • June 26, 27*
  • July 25*, 31
  • Aug. 8, 14, 22*
  • Sept. 5, 25, 26*
  • Oct. 9, 17, 24*
  • Nov. 6, 21*
  • Dec. 4*


Grades 3-5 (ages 8-10)

  • The Eagle Has Landed! – Design and build a capsule to protect your eggstronaut for landing. Understanding forces and motion are mission critical to ensure a safe return back to Earth.
  • Rocking and Roving - Robots can be the first to explore a new area to ensure it is safe for human exploration. Plan your robot’s path to explore new terrain and correctly program it for a safe journey. Teamwork is key to work out solutions for your robotics rover.
  • Countdown to Launch! – Test various rocket designs to observe the changes in flight and determine which model works best. Learn about the various parts of a rocket and Newton’s laws to learn the science behind the flight tests.
  • Astronaut Training – Participate in activities related to astronaut skills required to stay healthy on Earth and in space. Focus on your reaction times and dexterity with item assembly, collaboration, communication and teamwork.
  • Satellite Circuits – Making sure astronauts have power in space is extremely important. Engineers-in-training will learn about series and parallel circuits as their mission is to ensure their lander has power to land on the Moon.

Buy Tickets

STars & STEM stomp rocket launch

  • Jan. 8, 17, 22
  • Feb. 12, 20, 27, 28*
  • March 5, 20, 29*
  • April 2, 4, 8, 10, 22, 25*, 26
  • May 1, 7, 13, 17, 23, 29, 30*
  • June 26, 27*
  • July 25*, 31
  • Aug. 8, 14, 22*
  • Sept. 5, 25, 26*
  • Oct. 9, 17, 24*
  • Nov. 6, 21*
  • Dec. 4

Middle School

Grades 6-8 (ages 11-13)

  • Houston We Have a Problem – Study the historical significance of Apollo 13 and recreate the CO2 scrubber problem that astronauts and Mission Control had to resolve in order for the crew to return home safely. Communication and teamwork are key as you solve problems and test solutions for the success of your mission.
  • Lunar Mystery – Something has happened to the crew headed to the Moon and it is up to your team to determine if they are safe or not. Work as a team to solve various challenges, which unlock boxes to your next mission. The clock is ticking!
  • Houston, We are Go for Launch! – Explore Newton’s laws and learn about the parts of the rocket and the science needed for safe and successful flight. Work on your rocket stability and trajectory as you re-design and re-test for the best possible model.
  • Lunar Robotic Challenge – Maintain a budget as you design, build and traverse the lunar landscape to transport valuable materials. Solve problems as you figure out a way to transport raw materials to sites that can manufacture goods, which the astronauts can use to survive on the Moon.
  • Rover Rush! – Learn about how rovers are used on the Moon to explore and then start your own mission of exploration. Getting the code or programming correct for the rover is key to the successful completion of tasks. In this challenge, be the first rover to reach the valuable samples on the Moon using the most efficient coding program.

Buy Tickets

Stars & STEM

  • Jan. 10, 16, 24, 29
  • Feb. 13, 21, 26, 28*
  • March 1, 4, 7, 19, 22, 25, 27, 29*
  • April 1, 5, 11, 17, 19, 23, 25*, 29
  • May 2, 8, 14, 16, 20, 28, 30*, 31
  • June 5, 13, 19, 27*
  • July 10, 24, 25*
  • Aug. 1, 7, 15, 21, 22*
  • Sept. 4, 12, 18, 26*
  • Oct. 2, 10, 16, 24*, 30
  • Nov. 7, 13, 21*
  • Dec. 5, 11, 19

High School

Grades 9-12 (ages 14-18)

  • 3, 2, 1 - Ignition! – Learn about Newton’s laws of motion while learning to construct your own Space Center Houston model rocket. Identify all the various parts and learn about the current rockets that NASA is working on to take us back to the Moon and beyond!
  • Thermal Protection System – Can you stop the extreme heat from reaching your eggsplorer? Design, build and test a heat shield to protect your eggstronaut from the extreme temperatures upon re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere.
  • Engineering for the Extreme Cold – Space is an exceedingly cold place and NASA engineers must prepare spacecraft for this extreme environment. Design, build and test your own cryogenic capsules and analyze the data from the liquid nitrogen test.
  • Lunar Lock Out – Do you have what it takes to establish your place on the Moon? Work as a team to solve various challenges, which unlock boxes to your next mission. The clock is ticking!
  • Robotic Exploration – You and your crew have been tasked with recovering valuable samples for return back to Earth. Use your robot to retrieve and transport these materials across the lunar landscape back to your base.

Buy Tickets

Girl Scout Camp-In

  • Jan. 9, 15, 23
  • Feb. 19, 28*
  • March 6, 18, 21, 26, 28, 29*
  • April 3, 9, 12, 15, 18, 24, 25*, 30
  • May 3, 6, 9, 15, 21, 24, 30*
  • June 12, 20, 27*
  • July 11, 25*
  • Aug. 22*
  • Sept. 11, 19, 26*
  • Oct. 3, 23, 24*
  • Nov. 14, 21*
  • Dec. 18

Mixed grade levels

Grades K-12 (ages 5-18)

Prepare for space like an astronaut! Students will discover what it takes to be an astronaut as they receive certified training for their missions. They will design mission patches for their journeys, code robots to traverse Mars, launch rockets to new heights and experience the challenges of working in space.

You are “go” for a mission to Mars. Students will collaborate and solve problems when faced with engineering challenges for a Mars launch and landing system. They will learn about Newton’s Laws while designing rockets and preparing “eggstonauts” for landing on the red planet. Once arriving on Mars, they will program a robot to help accomplish their missions.

Things don’t always go as planned in spaceflight. Because of this, astronaut candidates are chosen for their abilities to make quick decisions for the benefit of their missions. Will your group be able to solve puzzles to unlock the mysteries surrounding the Mars Colony One crew? As part of their mission to Mars, students will build rockets and test trajectories as they launch toward the red planet. After arriving at Mars, students will design and build rovers to transport precious cargo to their habitats.

Students live the dream and become immersed in the world of NASA engineering from past to present. They will build and launch Space Center Houston rockets during a special night-launch. Communication and teamwork are emphasized as students construct a prototype heat shield that must be able to withstand the harsh environment of space where temperatures can range from 250° F (-156° C) to 250° F (121° C). Once the heat shields have been tested to withstand entry to the Martian atmosphere, the engineering challenges continue as students must design and build robotic rovers to transport precious cargo across the Martian terrain.

Buy Tickets

Girl Scout Camp-In

  • Jan. 31
  • Feb. 28
  • March 29
  • April 25
  • May 30
  • June 27
  • July 25
  • Aug. 22
  • Sept. 26
  • Oct. 24


Stars & STEM forms

Program enhancement options

Tours and experiences

Enhance your Stars & STEM experience with a guided tour of Starship Gallery, home to flown spacecraft, and the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory, an astronaut training facility.

I camped in space t-shirt
Patch

T-Shirt

Stars & STEM T-shirts come in adult sizes (small, medium, large, X-large, XX-large). All sizes are $15. After you register for your visit, you will be sent an order form with your initial confirmation or you can download the form here (pdf). The T-shirt form can be mailed or you can bring the form the night of your Stars & STEM reservation. Payment may be a school check, credit card or cash. You will receive your shirts during the Stars & STEM event.

Patches

Patches are $7 and can only be purchased the night of the event with cash or credit card. Patches will be made available for purchase only during the evening of the event.

Meals

Group meal plans are available as an option for second-day visits.

Area hotels

Frequently asked questions about Scout Camp-Ins

Yes, all students, teachers and chaperones must pay before entering the building. Each paid adult and child will receive an admission ticket for the evening and a ticket for the second day for the following morning. Bus drivers may obtain an event ticket at the adult rate or a second-day ticket (valid only the second day of visit) for $12.95.
Space Center Houston accepts school or district checks, credit cards and cash (large bills please). We do not accept personal checks or purchase orders. Please do not mail cash.
The number of students and payment are due six weeks before your Stars & STEM visit. Space Center Houston reserves the right to cancel any reservation if a final payment and signed contract are not received six weeks prior to visit.
Unfortunately, we do not accept pay-on-arrivals. All payments need to be made before your group arrives to ensure that each person has a ticket and a wristband before entering the building the evening of the event.
No refunds will be issued after the payment due date. Food, staff and materials are determined based on the number of students given six weeks before your Stars & STEM visit. For this reason, refunding partial or full payment is not possible.
Yes! Additional students may be added if there is availability. Please remember that payment must be received for any tickets purchased after the final payment has been sent prior to your arrival.
Stars & STEM has an event minimum of 20 people and an event maximum of 250 people. If an event does not meet the 20-person minimum, it can either be refunded or rescheduled to a later Stars & STEM event date. Please note that attendees ages 18 and younger must have a chaperone.
The earlier that you make your reservation, the better chance that you will have of getting the date of your choice.
Stars & STEM is geared toward school groups, but any group of school-aged students are welcome to attend as long as the minimum requirement of 20 students is met.
Space Center Houston requires at least one (1) adult chaperone for every ten (10) students.
The Neutral Buoyancy Lab (NBL) is not located at Space Center Houston. Your group will be responsible for providing transportation to and from the NBL. The group must travel together in a bus or van. Personal vehicles are not allowed on the NBL grounds. You will meet your tour guide in the Reservations office at Space Center Houston 30 minutes prior to your confirmed tour time to allow for travel to the facility. Click here to learn more about NBL tours.
Meal tickets need to be redeemed at the Launch Foods counter before 3 p.m. in the Zero-G Diner.
Yes, each participant, student and adult, needs to complete a Space Center Houston medical form that can be downloaded from the Stars & STEM webpage. The lead chaperone of the group needs to have these forms on their person during the entire Stars & STEM event.
The tram tour, which takes you to NASA Johnson Space Center, takes 60 to 90 minutes. Time spent inside Space Center Houston depends on whether your group views any large-screen films or live shows. Three to five hours is usually sufficient, however, we invite you to stay as long as you like!
On the evening of your event, larger groups will be broken into groups with no more than 30 students. These groups will each have an instructor to guide them through their activities that evening after dinner. The tram tour is the only part of your second day that will be guided. Touring inside the center is completely self-guided.
The exhibits and gift shops will be available only when you use your second day ticket. The Stars & STEM program will keep you busy with hands-on activities throughout your evening.
Groups that need a hotel should make their own arrangements.

All Rights Reserved