CLC Featured In The Tribune

This winter the 5th grade class at East Lake Academy visited the Challenger Learning Center in Woodstock to learn more about space exploration. During the trip, the 15 students participated in the CLC’s interactive “Rendezvous with a Comet” space mission, a hands-on learning experience during which the group was broken up into two teams, a mission control team and a space station team.

Each student had a specific job to perform, such as using technology to plot coordinates, assembling a space probe to search for a comet, receiving and communicating messages via intercom system, and monitoring the space station’s environment to ensure the crew’s survival. The students worked closely with the CLC’s helpful staff, and the mission was a success!

Before their space mission, students had the chance to explore the CLC’s hands-on learning center, packed with games and challenges to make them think more deeply about space exploration while still having fun. 

The children had such a good time during their trip that they chose to send hand written thank-you cards and prayer bouquets to the staff of the Challenger Learning Center. “It was so much fun, and the people there were so helpful,” said 5th grader Caroline Carter. “I didn’t want to leave!” Days later, the class received a return thank-you letter from the CLC along with badges to commemorate their experience. “It’s important that the children form the habit of expressing gratitude when they benefit from others,” 5th grade teacher Matt Nuccio explained. “Gratitude is one of the virtues that we try to form within the children here at ELA. And it’s good for them to see that their gratitude was appreciated.”

All 5th graders highly recommend the Challenger Learning Center as field trip well worth the drive, and can’t wait to go back in the future!

East Lake Academy is a Roman Catholic School of academic excellence located in Lake Forest, Illinois. East Lake Academy’s entire student body has scored 90% or better for the past five years on the national Stanford achievement Test. For more information please call 847-247-0035 or visit their website at