Though it's nowhere near Cape Canaveral, Spaceport Indiana opens a portal to the upper atmosphere and suborbital space through educational programs, a launch facility, and various testing facilities. Located at the Columbus Municipal Airport, the center helps private companies and the military test new innovations in low Earth orbit, while also running programs for curious junior astronauts. Summer camps and one-off sessions focus on building rockets and launching high-altitude balloons; scientists also travel to local classrooms for demonstrations. A yearly Space Day further excites exploratory instincts with topics that have included space tourism, interplanetary travel, living outside of Earth, and how much easier it is to bathe a dog when gravity can't help it run away.
At any given time, the rowers making their synchronized strides across the Eagle Creek Reservoir could be adults or youths, Olympic-level competitive athletes or recreational paddlers out for exercise and sun. This variation in ages, backgrounds, and skill levels is in keeping with the Indianapolis Rowing Center's mission of popularizing the sport regardless of socioeconomic status or past experience. Upon opening the center in 1982 at Eagle Creek Park, the founders began to instill their nonprofit, Olympic-level training and competition knowhow unto rowers of all levels. Oarsmen buzz about the boathouse March–November, getting tips and taking lessons from a staff that includes a 2008 Beijing Olympian as well as collegiate-level competitors. Over time, the IRC has created a regional hub for rowing with its many programs for high-school, collegiate, and adult athletes as well as hosting collegiate rowing championships.
Besides its open sessions, Eagle Creek Pistol Range doubles as an instructional facility for its operator, Tactical Firearms Training. Here, students of all experience levels can enroll in courses such as NRA Basic Pistol as well as personal-protection classes for inside and outside the home. Sessions cover everything from basic pistol marksmanship to understanding Indiana's gun laws. All courses are taught by NRA-certified instructor and Indiana Attorney Guy A. Relford.
After receiving their white canes, students receive comprehensive mobility training and orientation at school so they can use them safely and effectively in both private and public settings. Each student receives the specific type of cane that most appropriately meets his or her needs. However, budget cuts and increasing expenses at the state-funded school may prevent it from being able to equip each student with a white cane before they begin orientation.
Located inside the Indy School of Gymnastics off I-465 in Carmel, Climb Time Towers’ expert staff and world-class facilities offer novice climbers and mountaineers alike a rigorous and fun climbing experience. A day at Climb Time begins for the inexperienced with a brief instructional tutorial designed to teach safety procedures and introduce the student to trendy climbing slang. Once this initial task is completed, the friendly Climb Time instructor will sprinkle the climber with chalk, beharness him, and send him to the walls. Auto belay stations (ropes that safely prevent falling and whisper inspirational quotes when tired hands begin to tremble) aid individual climbers to the top of Climb Time’s 32-foot-high walls, colorfully decorated in homage to some of the country’s most challenging climbs (“Buttermilks,” “The Daddy,” “The Boreal”). With over 80 routes to the top, the walls at Climb Time promise a challenging day at the manufactured rocks for beginners, recreational rock scalers’ long-lost siblings, and experienced climbers. Because each Groupon gets you three sessions of all-day access to the towers at Climb Time, you'll have plenty of time to stretch, squint, and groan your way through several routes.