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Christa's Lost Lessons


In 2007, the space shuttle mission STS-118 launched with Christa McAuliffe’s back-up Teacher in Space candidate, Barbara Morgan. Over 20 years has passed since the loss of the Challenger’s crew on January 28, 1986. That mission, had it been completed, would have brought Christa McAuliffe’s six science lessons to children around the world through two live and four filmed lessons to be conducted in space. The lessons, prepared for the nation and the world’s children, were never performed.

A NASA educational specialist, Bob Mayfield, wrote a narrative description of the six planned activities in the 1980s, focusing on the science and engineering performed in the conception and planning of the lessons, and describing related earth-based exercises. Mock-up planning practices of the activities and zero gravity demonstrations on video were collected with Mr. Mayfield’s narratives and are now made available to help teachers understand and teach Christa’s lessons. All six scripted experiments include a materials list, set up and step-by-step instructions for teachers to use in the classroom with students.

Using these activities, teachers can replicate that which Christa was not able to share from orbit. Christa’s wonderful teaching gift and spirit are captured on the videos, and her remarks and actions in training accomplish most of her lessons plans. Her often quoted remark “I touch the future, I teach” is validated through the distribution of the materials by Challenger Center, the organization formed to carry on the educational mission of the crew.

Students experiencing the six lost lessons will be the future touched by Christa’s teaching gift.

UPDATE - 1/28/18

Today, Challenger Center announced that several of the lessons Christa McAuliffe planned to perform aboard the Challenger shuttle during the Teacher in Space mission will be completed aboard the International Space Station (ISS) this year. Challenger Center, in collaboration with NASA and STEM on Station, will work with astronauts Joe Acaba, currently aboard the ISS, and Ricky Arnold, scheduled to arrive in March, to film the lessons.

Acaba and Arnold are both former educators and will film the activities over the next several months.

The lesson topics will include effervescence, chromatography, liquids in zero-g, and Newton’s law. Several of the lessons will be completed as originally planned by Christa and a few will be reimagined based on materials available aboard the ISS. The videos will be released alongside corresponding classroom lessons and available on Challenger Learning Centers’ websites this spring.

Bring Buzz Aldrin's Share Space Giant Mars Map to Your School!

ShareSpace's Giant Mars Map is an exciting standards based, interactive educational tool that promotes active learning. Suited perfectly for upper-elementary-aged students, the Map can be be used on any large surface.

Join educators across the globe who are inspiring students to set their sights to Mars with a Giant Mars Map™, targeted for ages 8–12, designed with curriculum materials developed at Purdue University, based on National Science Standards. Intended to ignite children’s interests in science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM). The Mars Map and accompanying curriculum, exclusive to ShareSpace, can be integrated within existing curricula, activities, or programs to help enhance your mission training.

The Giant Mars Map™, a 25' x 25' vinyl floor map depicting a colorful topography of Mars as well as the landing sites of Mars rover missions, allows educators and mentors to motivate children to develop an understanding for real world STEAM-based concepts using the Red Planet as the basis. The paired curriculum, curated by ShareSpace, encompasses language arts, geography, math, science, space exploration, technology, and creative, innovative thinking.

This map and accompanying curriculum is available for check for one week from the learning center. Educators can pick up the kit at the learning center by appointment. 


Call (219)989-3250 to inquire or to schedule your Giant Mars Map experience today!

Updated Summer 2019!


Our newly updated simulated mission Expedition Mars is on its way and we have sought out some really great Mars resources for you. 

Space Tourism Poster Gallery 

Mars Exploration Poster Gallery 

NASA/JPL Educator Newsletter

Weblink for Background Information

Additional STEM Resources!

*A great online resource for merging web resources into a single, link-able location.  Students access your lesson, self guide through resources and work toward understanding at their personal pace.  Assessment and real-time data tracking.

*A fun quiz development program for classes with iPad or computer access for all students.

*An excellent resource if you're new to astronomy or want to begin stargazing at home!

*University of North Dakota Online STEM Resources and Activities for Teens is a great log of national and international STEM resources for kids of all ages.

Simple Machines Web Resources

Simple Machines Websites
Lemelson Center’s Invention at Play: Invention Playhouse
Edheads interactive game of identifying simple machines
Educational Videos, Lessons & Games for k-12 School Kids
Museum of Science – Elements of Machines
Making Paper Airplanes – Wedges
Cartoon Introduction of Simple Machines
Simple Machine Quizzes

Check out Let's Launch!, Challenger Center's newest Flipped Classroom Planetary Science Video Series!  

For Grades 5-8

Let’s Launch! is Challenger Center’s first Flipped Classroom series. Join Maya and her friend B.U.D as they learn about planetary science – Mars, the Sun, Near-Earth Objects, the Moon, and the Solar System. Each course includes an 8-10-minute animated video accompanied by three lesson plans for use in the classroom.

Check out the University of Maryland's brand new list of Data Analytics Tools for STEM Educators and Students! 

The benefits of providing K-12 students with analytics tools are vast, but not all science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) teachers have the necessary resources or know the proper methods of ensuring their students receive a good education in analytics. This guide will provide resources on data and analytics for both STEM teachers and their students, helping to ensure that pupils can use these tools to achieve success in their academic and professional careers.

Visit the University of Maryland's website for all the info you need!

Station Sightings