Challenger Learning Center Space Camp
Everyone knows evil overlords live in one of two places: a lair at the base of an extinct volcano or an orbital space lab. Challenger Learning Center's Space Camp provides an immersive environment that builds up to a simulated mission on the International Space Station.
Tasmyn Front, Director of the Challenger Learning Center, said there are two space missions. Micronauts is aimed at kids under 10 who provide backup crew for the ISS and conduct science experiments in space. The real action is saved for the older kids, who take on the roles of astronauts or engineers.
"It's realistic," said Front. "The core of the facility are two environments. One looks like Mission Control and was designed after Houston's Mission Control Center. The other looks like the interior of a space station. There are robotics arms, consoles for communicating with teammates, glove boxes for examining items and science experiment stations."
Available missions include trips to the Moon, Mars and even to a comet.
"Honestly, grownups don't need to be jealous. They can come on a mission, too," said Front. While the week-long summer camps are for kids (although there are some corporate team building exercises perfect for either large companies or Evil Overlord minion training), Challenger Learning Center also offers "Public Missions" available to anyone aged 11 and up where people can take part in a two-hour long Mars or Moon mission for only $15.
"Anyone can go into space without leaving St. Louis," said Front.
Between learning to sneak around at Secret Agent Camp, building minions at Robotics Camp, launching rockets at Flight Academy Camp and learning how to man an entire space station or Mars colony at Space Camp, St. Louis is officially the country's best training ground for future evil overlords.
Check out four other St. Louis summer camps to make grown-ups jealous.