Project Payload

Project Payload

We anticipate that Project Payload will be on campus in Summer 2022, assuming COVID continues to improve; all students accepted in Project Payload will need to fully comply with LA County COVID protocols. More information here.

Project Payload Summer Program

During this program, middle school students will authentically experience science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) through rocket design, payloads, satellites, and Arduino programming. Participants will design, build and launch their rockets and high-altitude balloon sensor device at STARBASE in Los Alamitos. The camp will include demonstrations and lessons, hands-on projects and group work, and time for connecting and sharing with peers in a fun, engaging environment.

In alignment with USC's commitment to access and opportunity, the K12 STEM Center is committed to inclusion, diversity, equity, and access (IDEA) in the STEM fields.

The K-12 STEM Center develops strategies and builds initiatives to meet the needs of a diverse population, specifically in efforts to increase the representation of female students and African American/Black, Hispanic/LatinX, Native/Indigenous students in its STEM programs, such as Project Payload.Some of those efforts include outreach, mentorship, and scholarships. However, all STEM Center programs are open to all students in compliance with Federal and State law, as well as University policy.

Project Payload will be presented in two phases:

Phase 1

  • Students will use the scientific method to design an experiment using ArduSat, an Arduino-based Nano-satellite based on the CubeSat standard.
  • Students will use the engineering design process to create a rocket design using RockSim

Phase 2

  • Students will configure and launch their high-altitude balloon sensor to make the measurements for their experiment.

Cost: Free

Dates and Time:

Date: TBD

Time: TBD

Where: TBD

Who: Middle school (rising 6th, 7th, and 8th graders)


Application details:

Please check back in late February 2023 for next year's application

Sponsored by Jordan Noone ’14, Jenna Bryant, and Embedded Ventures


Project Payload Winter Program

Coming Soon.

Cost: Free

Dates and Time:

Coming Soon



USC Camp gets teens interested in STEM careers

At USC’s Project Payload camp, middle school students get a lesson in STEM – that’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.  “They’re testing the forces of gravity, they’re learning about kinetic energy, potential energy,” said Anne Areta, Director of Project Payload Read More

Published on February 13th, 2019

Last updated on September 26th, 2022