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Summer Campers are Reaching for Outer Space

Our middle school summer campers are getting spacey—but it's a good thing! They hope to see their Zero Robotics (ZR) work compete on the International Space Station.


In Week 1 teams of students made water-propelled rockets from soda bottles to help them learn about velocity, drag, rotation, direction of travel and more as part of a 5-week STEM program that could result in seeing their project compete aboard the International Space Station. A crew from National Geographic was on hand to capture the story for a documentary.

The curriculum introduces students to computer programming, robotics, and space engineering, and provides hands-on experience with programming SPHERES (Synchronized, Position, Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites). 

The ZR Middle School Summer Program is provided through a partnership between the MIT Space Systems Lab, the Innovation Learning Center, and Aurora Flight Sciences and is sponsored by NASA, the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), and the Northrup Grumman Foundation. Our district qualified for the opportunity to participate thanks to the grant-funded After School Education Safety (ASES) program operated by our CUSD Extensions Department.

More CUSD summer camp information is avialable online at or by contacting the CUSD Extensions office at 408-341-7283.