Downey space camp includes field trips, hands-on activities

DOWNEY – Adults. Read this with the young people in your life. Young people. You may have to read this to your adults.

This summer, leave school – and the earth – behind. Your neighborhood space and science place – the Columbia Memorial Space Center – will be hosting Space Camp throughout the month of July. Each week for 4 weeks, we will be offering a different camp experience. You can sign up to build robots, take on the role of an astronaut and/or explore a new planet. You can even go on unique field trips to places like JPL (the Jet Propulsion Laboratory) and talk to the scientists and engineers sending probes out into the solar system. It’s Space Camp! How cool!?!

While all that may sound exciting, more than all of the building and exploring and doing we offer, what you really will be able to do is have fun meeting new people and sharing great times. Of all of the things you can do over the summer, Space Camp at the Space Center (it’s not just a coincidence it’s named that!) is the only place in town where you’ll be able to combine out-of-this-world activities with a totally social atmosphere made just for you to leave the school year behind while still keeping a little bit of your brain working.

Yes, adults, we offer effective learning experiences designed to stimulate creative and critical thinking. Yes, adults, social interactions like those at camp improve academic performance. Yes, adults, studies show that camp programs like Summer Space Camp at the Space Center help bridge the gap between school years that occurs during the summer. Yes, adults, camp participants will be able to take control of their learning experiences, follow their own interests and have a good time while doing it!

Yes, we offer all of this and more. Young people, we know that you’ve had a long year at school. Summer should be about having some down time with friends while doing something fun and totally unique, like being a part of Space Camp. We’re here for you. Join us.

To make room for you and give you more choices, the Columbia Memorial Space Center has doubled its camp this summer! Each week in July, we offer one session for 4th-5th graders and one session for 6th-8th graders. Every week-long session, no matter the age range, include hands-on activities and a field trip to a one-of-a-kind destination outside of the Space Center.

By the way, while writing this, we realized it may be more effective to tell you about the exciting things you’ll be able to do this summer than to write an article talking about the academic benefits of camp experiences like ours. We’d be happy to talk about that, if you like. We have a lot of stats and learning info to share. Please, call the Space Center if you have questions and someone will answer them – maybe even me. We’re at 562-231-1205 and you can sign up online at

We look forward to you being a part of Space Camp. See you this summer!

Ben Dickow is president and executive director of the Columbia Memorial Space Center.



Published: May 21, 2015 - Volume 14 - Issue 06