Belton student completes NASA-based space science education program at the Cosmosphere

August 15, 2014 

Victoria Bestor, of Belton, child of John and Jennifer Bestor, attended the Camp KAOS Starship Earth July 22-25 at the Cosmosphere. Victoria will enter grade 5 at Mill Creek Upper Elementary.

Starship Earth is a four-day camp with one overnight stay for students entering fifth and sixth grades. Developed by Cosmosphere staff, the Starship Earth program introduces campers to space science while emphasizing teamwork and problem solving. Starship Earth campers learn how the various systems of the Earth work together to support life and how that applies to our exploration of other planets. Campers also construct a solar oven and a water filtration system and engage in activities at the Dillon Nature Center and Hutchinson Zoo. Starship Earth participants have the rare opportunity to tour the Siemens Wind Turbine Nacelle Assembly Facility in Hutchinson. The camp’s capstone has campers design a self-supporting habitat relying on knowledge learned throughout the week. These projects are presented to families on the final day of the camp.

The Cosmosphere offers camp programs for students as young as those entering second grade, and on through high school. Camps are available for adults, including the Intergenerational Camp Experience for adults and their children or grandchildren. Additional camp experiences are offered for groups, and schools can custom-design curriculum based on state education standards. The Cosmosphere also has programs designed specifically for Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Webelos and the American Heritage Girls.

The Cosmosphere’s Camp KAOS program features five progressive levels for students entering seventh grade. Campers begin with Space 101 and 201, which are held at the Cosmosphere and visit other nearby facilities. They move on to Space 301, which includes a trip to Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, for a behind-the-scenes tour of NASA’s astronaut training facilities. Those who progress to Space 401 travel to Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where campers experience NASA launch facilities. The most advanced campers in Space 501 focus on emerging space technology facilities in California.

The Smithsonian-affiliated Cosmosphere houses the largest collection of U.S. space artifacts outside the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC. It also houses the largest collection of Russian space artifacts outside of Moscow. The Carey Digital Dome Theater proudly supports education. The Cosmosphere’s education department provides field trips, assemblies, and the internationally acclaimed Camp KAOS summer space adventures, which utilize STEM principles to inspire explorers of all ages and build leadership and teamwork skills. Information about Camp KAOS can be found at For more information about the Cosmosphere and the Carey Digital Dome Theater, visit

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