The Challenger Center for Space Science Education is a non-profit education organization created by the families of the crew of the space shuttle Challenger.
Challenger Center and its global network of Challenger Learning Centers use space-themed simulated learning and role-playing strategies to help students bring their classroom studies to life and cultivate skills needed for future success, such as problem solving, critical thinking, communication and teamwork.
A portion of the proceeds from the NaNoWriMo Writing Tools bundle goes directly to benefit the Challenger Center. This bundle, put together by Kevin J. Anderson, is an impressive collection of a dozen books on writing that will be inspirational, helpful, maybe even provocative. You can get all of the books for as little as $15. This bundle is only available through the end of November 2018, but you can always donate directly to the Challenger Center!
History of the Challenger Center
The crew of the Space Shuttle Challenger died tragically on the morning of Jan. 28, 1986, when a booster engine failed, causing the shuttle to break apart. The Challenger exploded 73 seconds into flight, at an altitude of 48,000 feet.
- Ellison S. Onizuka – Mission Specialist
- Michael J. Smith – Pilot
- Sharon Christa Corrigan McAuliffe – Teacher-in-Space Payload Specialist
- Francis R. “Dick” Scobee – Mission Commander
- Gregory B. Jarvis – Payload Specialist
- Judith A. Resnik – Mission Specialist
- Ronald E. McNair – Mission Specialist
After the accident the families of the crew joined together to carry on the spirit of their loved ones. They created the Challenger Center for Space Science Education, which provides opportunities for young people to learn and grow through space-based educational programs with an emphasis on science and engineering.
What does the Challenger Center do?
Challenger Learning Centers
Center Missions are space-themed simulation-based experiences designed for middle school students. They’re available at Challenger Learning Centers around the globe. Challenger Learning Centers are located on 3 continents, in 4 countries, and in 27 U.S. states.
Challenger Center provides a number of online STEM resources that can be used by teachers of elementary, middle school, and high school students.
The Challenger Center is adding a new program called Classroom Adventures. This is an online program which is accompanied by hands-on extension activities. The first Classroom Adventure is the Earth to Mars Design challenge, which can be implemented by teachers in their own classrooms.
Christa McAuliffe’s Lost Lessons
Christa McAuliffe was selected from over 11,000 applicants to be the first teacher in space. She had planned lessons for the Challenger STS 51L mission. Challenger Center, in partnership with NASA and STEM on Station, worked to complete several of Christa McAuliffe’s lessons. Working with Astronauts Ricky Arnold and Joe Acaba, the demonstrations were filmed aboard the International Space Station, and corresponding lessons were developed for classrooms. Topics include chromatography, effervescence, liquids in microgravity and Newton’s Law.