Hi nerds. Raise your hand if you went to Space Camp. OK, you can put it down now, you will need it for scrolling. I sure went to Space Camp: five whole days of sleeping in weird Martian pod-bunks, doing futuristic anti-gravity space flight simulation stuff, and communing with like-minded NASA enthusiasts: it was, for indoor tweens like myself, a holistically fulfilling edutainment course for those who didn’t feel the more traditional sleepaway joints. It felt as if I was peering up the skirts of the cosmos, tasting a bit of the future others hadn’t. I earned an embossed Certificate of Intergalactic Achievement at the end — nothing fancy, but it meant a lot to me. No other program of education had occupied the same emotional space that Space Camp did — until I went to Earthship Biotecture Academy.

Two years ago my family and I were vacationing in Taos, New Mexico when we drove past a community of weird-looking homes, curvy little buildings facing south, adorned with solar panels and buried in earth. The sign out front said "Earthship Biotecture and Biodiesel:" the name, and what we learned on a tour of the facility captured our imaginations.