In memory and in keeping with the mission of the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger 51L crew, the mission of the Challenger Learning Center for Science & Technology (CLCST) is to inspire and fuel academic inquiry, intellect, and imagination in the minds of youth to help strengthen the future of America.
To be the premier Challenger Learning Center in the United States.
Perhaps at no other time in our nation’s history has the need for continuing excellence in education been as essential. A recent Gallup survey found that Americans overwhelmingly recognize the critical role science and technology play in our national security. And NASA has begun preparations for its ambitious return to manned missions to the Moon and possibly beyond.
However, research indicates that the United States is losing its worldwide dominance in critical areas of science and innovation. The National Science Foundation finds that there is a decrease in the number of students enrolling in undergraduate and graduate studies in engineering, physical sciences, and mathematics. The National Assessment of Educational Progress reports that 47 percent of twelfth graders scored “below basic” in science skills.
Throughout our history, Challenger Center has developed a kaleidoscope of education innovations that serve as a launch pad to learning. Our network of Challenger Learning Centers, diverse classroom programming, and community outreach programs, excite students’ natural curiosities and encourage them to learn.
Innovative teacher training workshops give instructors a deeper understanding of how to teach the subjects of science and mathematics, as well as confidence that the programs they are using are content-rich and consistent with current scientific understanding. All Challenger Center programs are developed by staff educators and space scientists to ensure accuracy in content and methods of instruction.
Challenger Learning Center aims to inspire students in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Our school programs emphasize these four areas of study, and they give students a taste of how STEM can be applicable in a real-life scenario. It is our hope to spark the curiosity that may someday lead students to eventually pursue a career in a STEM-related field.
“There should be more women in space, and I’m going to be one of them!“
-Sarah, 5th grade student
As a leader in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education, Challenger Center and its international network of more than 40 Challenger Learning Centers uses space-themed simulated learning environments to engage students in dynamic, hands-on opportunities. These experiences strengthen knowledge in STEM subjects and inspire students to pursue careers in these important fields. Challenger Learning Center for Science & Technology is part of the global network that reaches hundreds of thousands of students and tens of thousands of teachers each year. Founded in 1986, Challenger Center was created to honor the crew of shuttle flight STS-51L. To learn more, visit www.challenger.org