Teenager creates free virtual space camp for kids

Arun Srinivasan
·2 min read

It’s often difficult to remain productive during a global pandemic, but this teenager has their sights set on outer space.

Ryan Clairmont, a high school junior from San Diego, created a free virtual space camp called Cosmoto, in hopes of sparking interest among other kids across the city.

“I remember when I was six or seven years old, I went to the Palomar Observatory,” Clairmont said to ABC 10 News. “I was able to look through their 60-inch telescope at Jupiter and the moon. It was an eye-opening experience for me.”

Prior to the pandemic, Clairmont was pursuing a biophysics internship but after it was cancelled, he focused his attention on creating Cosmoto.

A teenager created a free virtual space camp for kids after his internship was cancelled due to COVID-19. (Cosmoto)
A teenager created a free virtual space camp for kids after his internship was cancelled due to COVID-19. (Cosmoto)

“Based in San Diego, CA, Cosmoto is dedicated to providing quality space education resources to all children, everywhere,” Cosmoto’s mission statement reads.

“We at Cosmoto realize that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many in-person summer programs have been cancelled, leaving many children without a fun educational experience to engage in over the summer. Cosmoto's free online space camp was developed to meet the needs of these children,” the site continues.

At the time of writing, more than 100 children have registered for the camp.

The camp is free. Clairmont says there’s a need for this program to be accessible, both socially and financially.

“We want to assist families at times which may be challenging due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Recent events have also highlighted social inequalities still present in our society. To address this, Cosmoto is committed to providing free educational resources to all children, including those in underserved communities, whose families may not be able to afford to send their child to a traditional space camp or summer program,” Cosmoto’s website states.

We don’t know what the world will look like when the pandemic ends, but one thing is clear: this probably isn’t the last time we’re going to be hearing Ryan Clairmont’s name.