Summer Space Camps

From exotic black holes to the nature of light, we open up middle schoolers’ minds to a career in science, math, engineering and technology. For rising 5th – 8th graders, our camp curriculum has been created by an expert team of astronomy professionals, space scientists, and area science teachers. Registration is now open for our Summer 2024 season!

Both camps are FULL with a waiting list.

space science summer camps

2024 Dates

Camp Info

  • Cost

    $350 per camper. Merit scholarships are not awarded, but financial aid is available to those students who demonstrate financial need.

  • Times

    Monday: Please arrive between 8am and 8:45am to get checked in.

    Other regular days: Our gates open at 8am, but please have your camper here by 9am when
    activities begin. Pick-up time is 3pm sharp.

    Wednesday: Arrive at Dyer between 7am and 7:10am to check in for our field trip to the U.S. Space
    and Rocket Center. Pick up at Dyer will be between 4:30pm and 5:30pm depending on traffic. We will
    give you more details about the trip the week of the camp.

  • Attire

    Campers should wear comfortable clothes and closed-toe shoes that are suitable for
    walking inside and outside, as well as appropriate for an educational environment. On Wednesday,
    your child is required to wear their camp shirt on the field trip.

  • Lunch

    Bring a lunch with beverage on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Additional snacks
    and drinks will be provided every day (taking into account campers’ allergies and food restrictions).
    On Wednesday, lunch will be provided at the Space and Rocket Center.

  • Additional Details

    Wear sunscreen and bug spray as we will be outdoors for part of each day. We will have extra on hand if needed.

    For our water rocket activity, please bring 2-liter soda bottles to camp if you have them. They may be clear or a color.

    Further details and updates will be emailed to campers before camp starts.

Location & Directions

Vanderbilt Dyer Observatory
1000 Oman Drive
Brentwood, TN 37027

Set your GPS or see the Dyer website for directions to 1000 Oman Drive in Brentwood. The observatory is located off of Granny White Pike, approximately 1/3 mile north of Old Hickory Blvd. We are NOT on the main Vanderbilt campus.

Note that we are not located on the main Vanderbilt campus.

Field Trip


U.S. Space and Rocket Center

Our highlight of the week is a journey to the NASA facility in Huntsville for a day-long adventure to explore exhibits, engage in an experiment, watch a film and enjoy some rides! 

  • Field Trip Details

    On Wednesday we will travel on a chartered coach to the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in
    Huntsville, Alabama, to explore exhibits, engage in an experiment, view a film, and maybe
    enjoy a few rides!

    Be at Dyer Observatory between 7:00am-7:10am to check in. We will leave at 7:30am and cannot
    wait for late students.

    The target return time is 5:30pm. Due to unpredictable traffic, we cannot guarantee that exact time.
    If campers have their own cell phones, we will ask them to contact you with arrival updates. You may
    certainly call them for updates. If your child does not have a cell phone, one will be provided for them
    to contact you. Please be sure they know the number to call.

    Admission and on-site activities for this trip are included in your camp fee, so everything is already
    paid. The only money you may wish to send is for a gift shop visit. We end the day in that area
    waiting for the bus. Lunch and snacks will be provided on the field trip. Campers may bring additional
    food if they like, but they will have to eat/leave it on the bus or carry it around with them if they wish
    to eat it at lunch time.

    Clothing: Campers must wear their Dyer camp shirts on the field trip. This is how we easily identify
    and track them when mixing with other groups. Wear comfortable, closed-toe shoes. (No flip-flops)
    We will be both inside and outside while on the grounds.

    Items not allowed in the US Space and Rocket Center Park include digital music players, portable game devices, CD players, radios, etc., but they are allowed on the bus. Cameras are encouraged! 

Learn & Explore

• Interact with cutting-edge research astronomers.

• Learn how telescopes work, and build your own.

• Safely view the dynamic surface of the sun through a solar telescope.

• Learn about basic electronics, and use the knowledge to build working projects.

• Design a surface lander to survive a 50′ drop from a drone.

• Make your own realistic models of comets, and learn how craters are formed.

• Design and launch water rockets as an introduction to rocketry.