What We Do 2018-03-15T18:34:03+00:00

Center Missions are STEM experiences designed for middle school students and available at Challenger Learning Centers around the globe. The space-themed simulation-based experiences are led by trained Flight Directors and take place in a fully immersive Space Station and Mission Control.

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Surrounded by technology, each student plays a unique role in the mission as the team completes assignments, manipulates hands-on labs, and copes with simulated emergencies. Teamwork is crucial, if one member fails to complete a job, the entire mission can be put at risk. This differentiated approach allows for a truly personalized learning experience where students apply critical, scientific knowledge to real-world scenarios.

Challenger Learning Centers fly students on a variety of space-related missions. Aligned with national education standards and informed by real science data, our Center Missions excite students about STEM, introduce students to careers in these fields, and help students build important 21st century skills like critical thinking, problem solving, and collaboration.

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Mssion Earth Odyssey
Mission Luar Quest
Mission to Mars
Mission Encounter Earth
Mission With a Comet

Fast forward to 2076, a human habitat has been established on Mars’ moon Phobos. A large transport vehicle ferries astronauts and scientists between the base on Phobos and the Martian surface where a handful of facilities are in use including greenhouses, mineral processing facilities, and research labs. The team must work together to conduct research and search for evidence for life on Mars.

A recent coronal mass ejection has destroyed a vital space satellite responsible for gathering key Earth science information. Working together, the team at Mission Control and another aboard the Space Station, must build a new micro satellite to replace the one lost. However, traveling into orbit during this time of increased solar activity poses risks of its own.

Two teams set out for the moon to help with the expansion of Moonbase Alpha. Together they must navigate through space, to the moon and choose a suitable location for mining resources needed for the expansion of lunar research. However, scouting locations is dangerous and the choices the crews will need to make impact not only the success of their mission, but also the health and safety of each other.

COMING SOON! With a large Comet passing close to Earth in a short period of time, the Space Station crew has the chance to send out a robotic probe to study this Comet. The study could be groundbreaking, but goals quickly change when it is determined that the single Comet has broken apart into a second comet and that is on a direct collision course with Earth. The team must quickly reengineer their robotic probe so that it can stop the second comet and complete their new mission objective, to save the world.

It is the year 2076. A now routine Voyage to Mars has brought the latest human crew into Martian orbit. The crew, arriving from Earth on the Mars Transport Vehicle, is specially trained to replace the existing crew of astronauts, which has manned Mars Control for the past two years. Control of the incoming flight has been transferred from Houston’s Mission Control to Mars Control at Chryse Station. After arriving on the Martian surface, the crew of students must collect and analyze a number of planetary samples and data. The information they gather is vital to scientists and explorers to help give them a better understanding of the red planet.

In the summer of the year 2137, a Low Earth Orbiting satellite (LEO) has malfunctioned and must be replaced. The team has been called on to construct and deploy a new satellite, and retrieve important data about the Earth and its environment from the previous one. Students collect data, avert disasters on Earth, and learn about the intricate relationships of Earth’s atmosphere, hydrosphere, ecosphere, and geosphere as you Encounter Earth.

For the first time since 1972, a crew of astronauts are returning to the moon. This time, they plan to stay. Their mission is to establish a permanent base on the moon to observe and explore, as well as test the feasibility of an off-Earth settlement. Navigating into lunar orbit, the team must construct and launch a probe, and analyze a variety of data gathered from the lunar surface to select a site for establishing the permanent moon base. Students begin a new era in human planetary explorations during their mission to Return to the Moon.

A team of scientists and engineers are on a daring mission to take an up-close look at a comet as it streaks across the galaxy. The goal is to plot a successful course to Rendezvous with a Comet. First, the team must plot the correct intercept course. Then they must construct and launch a space probe to gather data from the comet. What seems to be a routine exploration at first, becomes filled with challenges and emergencies. Each obstacle requires students to work together as a team to find a solution in order make the mission successful.

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“One student at a time, Challenger Center inspires the kind of curiosity that leads to further exploration and success in STEM fields.”

– Vicki Chandler, Chair, National Science Board Committee on Honorary Awards

Classroom Adventures put teachers in the driver’s seat to deliver a STEM experience using our simulation-based learning model. These programs, designed for 3rd-5th grade classrooms, use real-world applications to introduce key science units.

Satellite Challenges are simulation-based learning experiences delivered by a facilitator to students in any environment that allows for collaboration. The programs, currently designed for 9th-10th graders, present a challenge that can only be met if the group works as a team.

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In Aquatic Investigators, students travel to a virtual underwater research station to explore why the Hawaiian monk seal population is declining. Teams research the question from different areas of study, including marine biology, oceanography, meteorology, and geology.

In Earth to Mars, students participate in a Space Launch System rocket launch to send a payload to Mars. Students work together to track storms and trajectory and ensure the communications and electrical systems are performing as expected.


To learn more about Classroom Adventures and Satellite Challenges, email info@challenger.org.

The development of our Classroom Adventure program model was made possible with funding from the Department of Education’s Investing in Innovation (i3) program and strong partnerships with NOAA, Oceaneering and the University of Virginia. The project was also supported by Lockheed Martin, The Boeing Company, GenCorp Foundation/Aerojet Rocketdyne, SAP, WSBR, Young AFCEA Bethesda, and private donors.

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