Next Generation of Science Standards

The Challenger Learning Center for Science and Technology in Woodstock, Illinois uses simulation, inquiry based learning and hands-on science to instruct, practice, review and inspire the application of all the disciplines, focusing on science, math and technology.  Although space exploration is our theme, it is not the purpose of the simulation but a vehicle to enhance the enjoyment of learning and exploring.  By using simulation, students are asked to solve problems through team work, critical and creative problem solving, responsible decision making and the use of higher order thinking skills.  Below is a list of just some of the topics and skills addressed in our training and simulation.

5th Grade 6th Grade 7th Grade 8th Grade


RL.5.1 RL.6.1 RL.7.1 RL.8.1 Reading Literature
RI.5.1,3,4,7,10 RI.6.1,3,4,7,10 RI.7.1,3,4,7,10 RI.8.1,3,4,7,10 Informational text
RF.5. 3a,4a,4c Foundations
W.5.1b,2b,2d,2e,4,7,9b W.6.1b,2b,2d,2e,4,7,9b W.7.1b,2b,2d,2e,4,7,9b W.8.1b,2b,2d,2e,4,7,9b Writing
SL.5.1c,1d,2,3, SL.6.1c,1d,2,3, SL.7.1c,1d,2,3, SL.8.1c,1d,2,3, Speaking Language
L.5.2a,2b,2c,2e,4a,4b,4c L.6.2a,2b, L.7.2a,2b, L.8.2a,2c, Language
RH. (6-8).2,4,7 RH. (6-8).2,4,7 RH. (6-8).2,4,7 RH. (6-8).2,4,7 English, Literacy in History, Soc.Studies, Science and technologies
RST.(6-8). 1,2,3,4,7,8,9,10 RST.(6-8). 1,2,3,4,7,8,9,10 RST.(6-8). 1,2,3,4,7,8,9,10 RST.(6-8). 1,2,3,4,7,8,9,10
WHST. (6-8). 4,5,7,8,9 WHST. (6-8). 4,5,7,8,9 WHST. (6-8). 4,5,7,8,9 WHST. (6-8). 4,5,7,8,9
M.5.OA.1,2 M.6.EE.1,5,7 M.7.RP.1,2d M.8.NS.7 Mathematics
M.5.NBT.1,2,3b,4,6,7 M.6.NS.2,3 M.7.NS.1a
8.1.8.A.5 8.1.8.A.5 8.1.8.A.5 8.1.8.A.5 Technology
8.1.8.C.1 8.1.8.C.1 8.1.8.C.1 8.1.8.C.1
8.1.8.E.1 8.1.8.E.1 8.1.8.E.1 8.1.8.E.1
8.1.8.F.1 8.1.8.F.1 8.1.8.F.1 8.1.8.F.1
8.2.8.B.3 8.2.8.B.3 8.2.8.B.3 8.2.8.B.3
8.2.8.G.2 8.2.8.G.2 8.2.8.G.2 8.2.8.G.2




















5th Grade/skill 6th Grade 7th Grade 8th Grade


5-PS1-3 Matter and Its Interactions
5-PS2 Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions
5-ESS1-1 Earth’s Place in the Universe
3-5-ETS1-1,2 Engineering Design
MS-PS2-2,3,4 MS-PS2-2,3,4 MS-PS2-2,3,4 Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions
  MS-LS1-6,8 MS-LS1-6,8 MS-LS1-6,8 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
MS-ESS1-1,2,3 MS-ESS1-1,2,3 MS-ESS1-1,2,3 Earth’s Place in the Universe
MS-ESS2-3 MS-ESS2-3 MS-ESS2-3 Earth’s Systems
MS-ETS1-3 MS-ETS1-3 MS-ETS1-3 Engineering Design


Life Support

  • Reading and interpreting scientific gauges
    • Hygrometer- Measuring moisture in environment
    • Barometer- Monitoring changes in readings
    • Thermometer
    • Ammeter- Measuring angle and filter effect on energy
    • Check tap water for pH and dissolved solids
    • Evaluate oxygen systems, determine flow of gas and prepare for alternate solutions if problems arise.
    • Plant  bio-evaluation
    • hydroponics
    • Acids and bases
    • Evaluating Data
    • Problem Solving Emergencies


  • Determining physical properties of geological samples
  • Massing various geological samples
  • Finding volume of Geological samples through water displacement
  • Determining density of samples
  • Evaluating densities to determine classification of samples
  • Soil sample analysis
  • Mars/ Earth sample comparison
  • Rock sample classification
  • Looking for evidence of life


  • Robotics
  • Measuring mass and volume of liquids
  • Determining density of liquids
  • Evaluate stability of liquids
  • Determine impact ratio
  • Measuring filters for radiation levels
  • Measuring radiation levels


  • Explore starfields using declination and ascension coordinates (skill set similar to latitude and longitude.
  • Identify constellations
  • Determine landing path through formation designs on Martian surface.
  • Using angular measurements, launch sensors to collect data to triangulate position of spacecraft
  • Determine length of return to Earth voyage, using fuel and life support supplies
  • Determine speed and distance of Mars dust storms, in order to monitor landings and launches.


  • Determine visual and auditory reaction times to evaluate human health
  • Measure and evaluate temperature changes to evaluate human health
  • Determine resting and active blood pressure to do a comparative study
  • Check bacteria samples for unsafe organisms.



  • Track Martian weather through satellite downloads
  • Evaluate functions of specific parts to determine necessity of those parts to the weather satellite
  • Make electrical connections to determine functionality of satellite parts
  • Circuitry


  • Evaluate, prioritize and transmit data, using communication skills
  • Choose visual data to aide in the understanding of remote sites


  • Evaluate, prioritize and transmit data, using keyboarding skills
  • Evaluate data to determine specific team usage

Additional Skills

  • Letter writing
  • Job application
  • Careers
  • Self evaluation
  • Summarizing and analyzing data, information and skills
  • Determining criteria for life
  • Planetary comparisons
  • Research applications