The Program Director is a member of the Education team, which creates software-driven programs and products that are delivered to students in Challenger Learning Centers and K-12 school settings. He/she will develop and implement Challenger Center programs and products, or components of our programs and products. This could include creative development and design, content and curriculum creation, and/or standards alignment. The Program Director will work closely with the broader Education team, other Challenger Center teams, Challenger Learning Centers, partner organizations, and vendors. The Program Director will act as a content developer and project manager using his/her skills to develop budgets, support the development of concepts for funders, as well as the implementation of grant-funded programs.

Description of Duties: 

Responsibilities include (but are not limited to):

Program Design and Development:

  • Design, develop, and deliver education programs and products for K-12 audiences, as well as the accompanying training, professional development resources, and evaluation plans.
  • Ensure each program/product undergoes a robust quality control review (e.g., copy editing, science accuracy, software functionality).
  • Identify and leverage resources from partners such as NASA, NOAA, and corporations.
  • Identify, interact with, and incorporate information from subject matter experts in various fields into Challenger Center products and programs.
  • Test products, programs, and software components for accuracy, efficiency, and potential improvement.
  • Collaborate with program implementers, including Challenger Learning Centers, program partners, consultants, universities, and evaluators.
  • Manage the implementation of grant-funded programs, ensuring program and reporting deadlines and goals are met completely, accurately, and timely.

Management and Strategy:

  • Identify potential partners and develop relationships for pilots and/or implementation of programs and evaluation.
  • Develop and manage larger scale projects. This includes managing budgets and timelines; ensuring deliverables are completed on time; coordinating with other teams as needed; identifying road blocks and providing solutions; and ensuring all other teams are aware of progress and expectations. May also oversee smaller scale projects.
  • Play a substantial role in the development of annual department plan and execution of the plan to meet goals. Ensure progress is being made to reach overall strategic goals.
  • Manage completion of required and necessary reporting documents for key stakeholders including the board of directors and grantors/funders. Collect information and appropriate data from appropriate teams. Ensure reports are accurate and on time.
  • Create and manage program/project budgets and timelines. Work with leadership to develop annual department budget(s).
  • Manage outside contractors/vendors and partners, including development of scope of work, budgets, timelines and contracts.
  • Follow Challenger Center’s Project Management Process for each education program/product development project.


  • Keep abreast of relevant industry trends and best practices in STEM education, education technology, nonprofit, etc. and share knowledge with others.
  • Proactively identify and pursue opportunities to represent Challenger Center at conferences, meetings and special events as appropriate and/or requested (participant/attendee, speaker/panelist).
  • Identify and share funding and partnership opportunities and assist with proposals as needed.
  • Attend staff meetings, assist with office support, participate in professional networking, and team building activities. Support other administrative duties as needed.
  • Submit accounting and original receipts to Accounting Department each month on or before the due date.
  • Accurately report time spent on projects, PTO, sick, etc. on time.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Bachelor’s degree required.
  • Experience as an educator in an informal or formal setting required. Experience in middle school and/or space science preferred.
  • Minimum of 10+ years of relevant experience.
  • Experience working with/managing grant funded programs and projects preferred.
  • Possess a strong knowledge of current classroom technologies and how traditional learning environments are changing due to new tools and instructional models; experience in the Education Technology field a plus.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop programs that are aligned with current national education standards, especially Next Generation Science Standards.
  • Experience creating online training and professional development resources for formal and/or informal educators.
  • Detail-oriented and highly organized.
  • Experience with evaluating education program impact a plus.
  • Experience in instructional design and/or universal design for learning a plus.
  • Ability to manage multiple projects and deadlines, and shift priorities and resources as needed.
  • Excellent writing/editing and verbal communication skills.
  • Experience managing external vendors and partners.
  • Commitment to work collaboratively with all staff across all teams.
  • Self-starter, able to work independently.
  • Strong computer skills especially in Microsoft Office suite of products.
  • Basic knowledge of HTML 5 and JavaScript a plus.
  • Ability to travel approximately 10%-15% of the time, with potential for periodic additional travel.


We value our employees’ time and efforts. Our commitment to your success is enhanced by our competitive compensation and extensive benefits package including paid time off, medical, dental and vision benefits and future growth opportunities within the company. Plus, we work to maintain the best possible environment for our employees, where people can learn and grow with the company. We strive to provide a collaborative, creative environment where each person feels encouraged to contribute to our processes, decisions, planning and culture.

Challenger Center is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

To Apply

Send a resume and cover letter to with “Program Director, Education” in the subject line. Only applicants who submit all the requirements will be considered. Due to the number of applicants for this position, we regret that we can only respond to candidates that we would like to interview.