A Challenger Learning Center mission is more than a field trip or a computer game. Our mission simulations put students into learning environments based on the practices NASA uses to prepare astronauts. It’s as real as it gets without needing a spacesuit.
While students become astronauts and engineers at Challenger Learning Centers, they are solving real-world problems as they share the thrill of discovery on missions through the Solar System.
HOW A CHALLENGER LEARNING CENTER MISSION SIMULATION WORKS:
- Prior to the visit, educators receive curriculum to help students understand the theme and topic of their mission and to work on communication, teamwork and problem solving skills. No Teacher Training needed!
- After arriving at the Challenger Learning Center, students are partnered up and assigned to one of eight teams: Communications, Data, Isolation, Life Support, Medical, Navigation, Probe, and Remote.
- One student on each team is assigned to Mission Control, while the other team members are transported to the space station (at mission midpoint, the partners exchange places so every student can experience both learning environments).
- During the mission, students must accomplish specific tasks in order for the mission to be a success. Astronauts on board the space station build space probes, monitor life support functions, conduct experiments on items taken from the surfaces of Mars or the Moon, and plot navigation courses for the spacecraft. Engineers at Mission Control support these endeavors by answering the astronauts’ questions and providing necessary research.
- Following the mission at the Challenger Learning Center, educators have the option of using specific programs designed to help extend the Learning Center mission once they return to the classroom.
Students become engineers, scientists and Mission Control specialists working together as a crew to Rendezvous with a Comet, Voyage to Mars or Return to the Moon. In the simulators, students test their decision-making skills, solve problems and communicate by alternative means during this innovative, space-themed science and math hands-on experience.
- Length: 2 hours
- Class Size: Maximum 34 Students
- Price: $600 Per Class
*If you are looking for funding and/or need a letter to present to your school district or administrator to justify a field trip to Challenger Learning Center for a Simulated Space Mission, click here for a sample letter that you can edit to meet your needs:
RENDEZVOUS WITH A COMET
In the not-to-distant future, a team of scientists and engineers are serving as Astronauts and Mission Controllers on a daring exploration of comets! Their goal is to successfully plot a course to rendezvous with a comet and launch a probe to collect scientific data. What may seem to be a routine exploration, is sprinkled with lots of surprises and emergencies that will give students first-hand insight into teamwork and problem-solving.
This mission is flown from March – June.
The year is 2076 and this crew is tasked with searching for water and life on the Martian surface! Carrying parts to build a ROV for hydrological exploration, the Mars Transport Vehicle (MTV) also carries unmanned drone aircraft to assist in surveying the Martian landscape. However, when crew members discover a threat to their MTV base, they must act quickly to save their crew and their station!
This mission is flown from September – January
NEW! First Flight 2023 - In the not so distant future, NASA launches a Rover to the Moon to explore new areas and collect critical scientific data. However, the Rover lost power before any of the findings were sent back to Earth. To solve this problem, NASA has decided to send human astronauts will back to the Moon! A team of astronauts on a Spacecraft and back at Mission Control will work together to search for a long-term habitat on the Moon. However, when the crew receives troubling readings from below the Moon’s surface, the two teams must make critical decisions to turn a potential catastrophe into NASA’s finest hour!
This mission is flown in February 2023.
Have questions or curious about what you'll need to know for your upcoming Challenger mission? Call (219) 989-3250 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to speak with our Lead STEM Educator so she can walk you through the process over the phone or Zoom!