Space Camp Turkey Essay

Our Space Camp scholarship application window for 2018 summer camps has closed.

Our online scholarship application for 2019 will be posted on this webpage on October 15, 2018 with a due date on January 11, 2019. Scholarships include tuition, meals, and lodging but do not include travel or incidentals.

2018 Space Camp Scholarship Timeline

  • Application posted October 15, 2017
  • Applications due January 12, 2018
  • All applicants notified March 19, 2018

2019 Space Camp Scholarship Timeline

  • Application posted October 15, 2018
  • Applications due January 11, 2019
  • All applicants notified March 18, 2019

The scholarship program is managed by the U.S. Space & Rocket Center Foundation. Full scholarships cover tuition, room & board for any 6-day weeklong, individual camp program and are good for one year. These camps include Space Camp, Space Academy, Advanced Space Academy, Aviation Challenge Mach I, Mach II, and Mach III, Space Camp Robotics Camp and Robotics Academy. Transportation and incidentals are the responsibility of the scholarship recipient. All applicants must be age 9-18 and attending 4th – 12th grade. For more information about these 6-day weeklong camps, please click here.

Here is what to expect:

Each applicant must answer two essay questions, design and describe a mission patch, describe a science project using the scientific method or engineering design process and provide two letters or recommendation.

Applicants may apply in one of four categories described below - Financial Need, Special Needs, Academic Achievement or Leadership.

  • Financial Need/Disadvantaged - applicants in this category must either be in a low income family or receiving government assistance. A letter from the principal stating the applicant is receiving free or reduced lunch at the school OR a copy of a letter from a government agency stating the applicant’s family is receiving government assistance (ie Food Stamps, Medicaid, HUD) must be submitted with the application.
  • Special Needs - applicants in this category must have a learning challenge and/or physical challenge. A letter from a teacher, principal, or physician stating the applicant has a learning and/or physical challenge must be submitted along with a letter from the applicant describing his/her disability. Applicants must be able to attend the 6-day weeklong, individual camp without a parent or guardian.
  • Academic Achievement - applicants in this category must have excelled academically AND/OR be participating in a gifted program. A letter from the applicant’s teacher or principal stating the applicant is in a gifted or honors program OR a copy of the applicant’s most recent report card OR a copy of the applicant’s recent national or state standardized test scores must be submitted with the application.
  • Leadership – applicants in this category must demonstrate exceptional leadership in school and/or community. Applicant must submit photos illustrating activities or awards related to his/her leadership role in his/her community or school. Applicant should emphasize his or her leadership roles throughout the application, particularly through letters of recommendation, the essays and the mission patch drawing and description.

    The Space Camp Scholarship Application is open for both international and U.S. applicants. For questions about scholarships, you may contact Anita Hausheer at

Other Space Camp Scholarship opportunities for Alabama residents:

Space Academy for Leading Students in Alabama (SALSA) 2017-2018
The 2017-2018 SALSA applications will open November 20, 2017. If you are a student in Alabama between the ages of 12-14, you are eligible to apply.

The SALSA program will take place Sunday, May 27 through Friday, June 1, 2018. SALSA applications are due by February 16, 2018 by 11:59 p.m. CST.

Applicants will be notified by close of business on Saturday, March 10, 2018. Please refrain from making calls or emails regarding your application status prior to that date. For more information and to apply, visit

Alabama Space Academy for Educators (ALSAE) 2017-2018
If you are a full time educator in a public school system in the state of Alabama, you are eligible.

The ALSAE program will take place June 6-11, 2018. For more information and to apply, visit If you have any questions about the ALSAE program or the selection process, please email

ALSAE applications will close when spaces are filled. Please submit your application as soon as possible.

 Space Camp Turkey:  Innovation and The Human Factor

It all began about 11 years ago when two Turks met in Huntsville, Alabama.  One was known as Ismail Akbay, the Turkish villager from Mudanya, who helped put man on the moon.  The other was Kaya Tuncer, regarded by locals as an upstart entrepreneur in Turkey’s Aegean region.  Together they would collaborate on a project to introduce a one-of-a- kind experience in Turkey&mdasha camp which would sell “space” to excite and educate children in the fields of math, science and technology.

In June of 2000, the project happened.  As Tuncer put it, Space Camp Turkey opened as “a gift to the children of the world.”  Today, there is a museum in Space Camp Turkey dedicated to Mr. Akbay, which recognizes his accomplishments as a NASA engineer on the Saturn V moon rocket, other Apollo projects and his pioneering role in NASA`s technology transfer to the private sector.

Long before Space Camp Turkey ever materialized, it was Mr. Tuncer`s untiring, innovative spirit which launched the Aegean Free Zone – the home of Space Camp Turkey.  Located in the city of Izmir, Turkey’s second-largest and number one exporting seaport, the Aegean Free Zone (ESBAS) is Turkey’s foremost industrial park.  It offers state of the art infrastructure, attractive financial incentives and an exceptional quality of life for western executives and their families.  Mr. Tuncer has enhanced the Aegean Free Zone’s appeal by providing foreign firms the same exceptional design standards found in the U.S. and Western Europe.

Since 1990, the cumulative trade volume in the Aegean Free Zone has reached 26 billion U.S. dollars.  Nearly 300 companies operate in the free zone, employing 15,000 people.  Seventy of those companies are foreign firms.  PFW, a German aircraft firm, produces tubing systems for Boeing and Airbus.  Delphi Packard, an American company, makes automotive parts.  Eldor, a leading Italian industry, manufactures electronics.  Mr. Tuncer has hosted 40 International Business Culture Development Days since 2001 and current innovation projects include the establishment of an Aviation, Aerospace and Avionics cluster featuring an international training academy. 

 Mr. Tuncer`s visions pay off

Without a doubt, Space Camp Turkey is one of the most successful innovation projects Mr. Tuncer has implemented at the Aegean Free Zone.  His visions to help improve his country’s educational system and attract more foreigners to Turkey have resulted in nearly 55,000 youth and adults from over 40 countries visiting the camp. 

Space Camp Turkey is synonymous with innovation in education.  Through hands-on, interactive learning, youth and adults train in the space sciences, experience teamwork through space simulations and cultivate an understanding of space technology. 

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, one of the most visionary minds of the 21st century, said, “The future lies in the skies.”  At Space Camp Turkey, we strive to provide a dynamic, innovative curriculum that will motivate and challenge program participants for years to come.  We have learning opportunities for youth, ages 9-15, which range from 2 to 10 days and corporate development seminars for adults lasting 1 to 2 days.
Train eager minds in the space sciences

First and foremost, we train eager minds in the space sciences.  Students learn the basics of astronomy, including the characteristics of each gaseous and terrestrial planet in our solar system, constellations, the northern lights, and the asteroid belt.  They also get to observe what they learn in the astronomy classroom when they visit our Starlab Planetarium and rooftop observatory. Not only do they get to see the Moon at night, they also see sun spots during the day through our 10-inch diameter telescope.

Trainees comprehend the principles of physics by actually experiencing ten different types of simulators in our training complex.   For example, the Manned Maneuvering Unit demonstrates the frictionless environment and Newton’s Third Law of Motion.  The 1/6th Gravity Chair is designed to give the trainee an idea of what it is like to walk on the moon.  It is called the 1/6th chair because it simulates the Moon’s gravitational pull, which is 1/6th that of Earth’s.  Then there is the Zero-Gravity Wall, where students experience a feeling of weightlessness.  While feeling neutrally buoyant, students apply a NASA concept to construct their own space structure.

Students first study the history behind rocketry as well as the principles of chemistry and physics used in building and launching rockets before they construct three different types of rockets themselves.  Before launching their rockets, students become knowledgeable about meteorology and calculate the projected height their rocket will go based on atmospheric conditions.

Promote teamwork through space simulations

When participants train together as teams, they quickly grasp the adage that “your team is as strong as your weakest link.”  Simulations and activities such as the Space Shuttle Discovery mission, Mars Colony design and Area 51 for adults are structured to emphasize teambuilding.

The highlight of Space Camp is the Space Shuttle Discovery mission, which simulates a mission to space and return to Earth.  Our orbiter is a replica of NASA`s Discovery and is linked to our Mission Control simulator allowing students to work together from both the Orbiter and Mission Control.  Students are assigned a mission position in either the Orbiter or Mission Control depending on their abilities.  After one hour of mission training they must work as a team to successfully complete the one or two-hour mission.  Just like the Tom Hanks movie and real NASA mission, “Apollo 13,” crewmembers encounter challenges which they must overcome together to safely return to Earth. 

Creativity fosters synergy.  Students first learn to recognize the properties of Mars, then as a team they come up with their own scientific theories on how to create a permanent human settlement or Colony on Mars.

Area 51&mdashnot to be confused with that secretive locale in Nevada-- is a leadership reaction course for adult program participants, designed to test individual leadership characteristics as well the group’s overall ability to function effectively as a team under stress-induced conditions. 

Cultivate understanding of space technology

The third pillar of our curriculum is to cultivate an understanding of space technology. We have a computer lab with 24 terminals dedicated to the International Space Station, in which students manage common software but design their own station with optimal energy efficiency and operational capabilities. 

In 2008, Space Camp Turkey will offer a special course in robotics using legos.  This activity will expose youth to engineering, research, problem solving and other management concepts and allow them to apply their ingenuity. 

Finally, we offer the “real stuff” at Space Camp Turkey.  Since 1998, seven astronauts and cosmonauts have visited Space Camp Turkey, met one-on-one with students, shared their celestial experiences and provided insights into man’s future space endeavors. The second American to orbit earth, Mercury 7 Astronaut Scott Carpenter, was at our opening ceremony.  Most recently,  NASA`s chief astronaut Steve Lindsey, commander of the second Return-to-Flight mission aboard Discovery in July of 2006, spoke about NASA`s plans to revisit the moon and explore Mars.  NASA astronaut Shannon Lucid, the female record-holder for the most flight hours in space spoke about her daily routine aboard the International Space Station during her visit in July 2006.  We hosted Romanian cosmonaut Dorin Prunariu in June of 2006 and we expect our first Russian cosmonaut during the summer of 2007.

 Statistics reflect need for better education

As one of three space camps in the world, affiliated with the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama, Space Camp Turkey is in a unique position to benefit from the latest developments in space education  and NASA`s Distant Learning Network.  This form of technology transfer enriches our curriculum and motivates young people to pursue careers and higher education in the fields of science and technology.
A study performed by the U.S. Space and Rocket Center shows that 93% of space camp graduates take more science classes, 91% of graduates take more math classes, and 74% of graduates learned about career options.

Alarming statistics indicate the urgent need to provide for a dynamic and educated labor force in Turkey. According to Turkish newspaper reports about government statistics on the Turkish education system, 12.6 percent of the population is illiterate.  Only 189,000 attend private schools and this represents just 1.8 percent of the total student body&mdashprimary through high school grades.  At Space Camp Turkey, most of our customers are paying students who come from private schools throughout Turkey and international schools abroad. 

The buck doesn`t stop there

But the buck doesn`t stop there.  Mr.Tuncer regularly provides scholarships to the needy, underprivileged students who attend public schools and sponsors an annual National Space Camp week, which brings together gifted teachers and students from 71 cities throughout Turkey.  In 2004, Mr. Tuncer was nominated by a Greek–American and received the prestigious Ellis Island Medal of Honor for his philanthropic work with Space Camp Turkey’s Global Friendship Through Space Education foundation.  Staunch and generous supporters such as Boeing Turkey, under the leadership of Mr. Greg Pepin, have funded numerous students from poor districts in Turkey.

More than just a space camp

The other day, one of my colleagues in the media profession postulated that Space Camp Turkey is nothing more than a “high-tech Boy Scout Camp.”   Not so.  There are nearly as many females as male attendees at our camp and their most rewarding experience is making friends from different countries.  We have the flexibility to meet customers’ needs, especially when it comes to customizing programs that provide both an educational and cultural experience.  Through innovative thinking, we came up with programs that offer training, teamwork and technology in our space complex, plus an optional day of community service with local Turkish schools for academic credit, combined with two days of local excursions to world-renown sites such as Ephesus.
Testimonials from program attendees speak highly about our staff’s exceptional hospitality, the special recognition both kids and grownups receive when they excel, and the extraordinary opportunity they get to mix with people from diverse cultures.

At Space Camp Turkey, there are no cultural boundaries.  There is no grading system.  There is no limit to one’s imagination.   But there is definitely Innovation and the Human Factor.

                      Space Camp Turkey, Aegean Free Zone, 35410, Gaziemir-Izmir/Turkey


Scott Woodham                                                                                                                NR:01-07
Director of International Marketing
Phone:+90-232-252 3500 (Ext: 106)
Fax      :+90-232-252 3600

0 thoughts on “Space Camp Turkey Essay

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *