Press Releases

Challenger Center Celebrates with Writers and Illustrators of the Future

LOS ANGELES (April 10, 2014) – Dr. June Scobee Rodgers, Challenger Center for Space Science Education (Challenger Center) founding chair and widow of Challenger Commander Dick Scobee, will celebrate the winners of the 2014 Writers of the Future Awards during a visit to Los Angeles, Calif.

“I’m thrilled to once again join this elite group of writers and illustrators being recognized for their talents and accomplishments,” said Scobee Rodgers. “They share our passion to inspire students with a sense of adventure introducing them to a universe of exciting possibilities

Scobee Rodgers, along with New York Times bestselling authors Rebecca Moesta and Kevin J. Anderson (Challenger Center board member), wrote Star Challengers, an action-packed science fiction series. The books feature a group of young people using a Challenger Learning Center as a springboard for actual journeys into the future to a moonbase, a space station, and an asteroid mission.

On Friday morning, Scobee Rodgers will join the award recipients on a tour of the Challenge Learning Center at the Columbia Memorial Space Center in Downey, Calif. The Center is one of more than 40 Challenger Learning Centers around the globe created by the families of the Challenger shuttle to continue the educational mission of their loved ones. In addition to hosting this year’s winners at the local Downey, Calif. Challenger Learning Center, Scobee Rodgers will introduce keynote speaker Leland Melvin during Sunday evening’s award ceremony. Melvin, a close friend and supporter of Challenger Center, is a former astronaut and the former Associate Administrator for Education at NASA.

Writers and Illustrators of the Future Award recipients were selected from a field of thousands of entrants from 169 countries. They participate in a week long workshop, taught by top line professional writers of Science Fiction and Fantasy, including Kevin J. Anderson

During her trip, Scobee Rodgers will also visit California Science Center to see the space shuttle Endeavor. Endeavor’s new home is not far from Edwards Flight Test Center where Dick Scobee was the test pilot to fly the X-24 shuttle prototype, the 747 shuttle carrier aircraft and the Challenger Space Shuttles 41-C and 51-L.

About Challenger Center for Space Science Education (Challenger Center)
Using space exploration as a theme and simulation as a vehicle, Challenger Center and its international network of more than 40 Challenger Learning Centers create positive educational experiences that raise students’ expectations of success, foster long-term interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), and inspire students to pursue studies and careers in these areas. Challenger Learning Centers across the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, and South Korea reach more than 400,000 students each year through simulated space missions and educational programs and engage more than 40,000 educators through missions, teacher workshops and other programs. Founded in 1986, Challenger Center was created to honor the seven astronauts of shuttle flight STS-51-L: Commander Dick Scobee, Gregory Jarvis, Christa McAuliffe, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Judith Resnik, and Michael J. Smith. For more information, visit