“I’ve never seen such positive engagement in a middle school science classroom." — Former Colorado Lt. Governor Joe Garcia, while observing Challenger e-Mission Operation Montserrat in Ovid, CO.
Challenger Learning Center of Colorado offers a variety of space science programs:
space mission simulations at our Colorado Springs facility,
full-day programs (missions plus planetarium shows plus interactive Maker Space activities) at our facility,
distance learning e-Missions delivered to your classroom,
traveling planetarium shows at your school,
student design challenges, and
teacher professional development opportunities.
Simulator Missions at Challenger (grades 5 to adult)
Classes come to Challenger Learning Center facilities where Transporter, Mission Control and Spacecraft simulators make missions vastly more stimulating than “just a field trip” and infinitely more integrated than multi-player video games. We offer three exciting mission scenarios:
Rendezvous with a Comet
Click Here for more information about Simulator Missions.
e-Missions delivered via live video conference to your Wired Classroom (grades 4 to adult)
Classroom-to-Mission-Control connections over broadband Internet create live earth and space science simulations that are astronomically more engaging than watching old science videos or reading website pages. Your students can explore our world and beyond with these exciting e-Missions:
Moon, Mars & Beyond
Click Here for more information about distance learning e-Missions.
Planetarium Programs (Kindergarten to adult)
Our Mikkelson Planetarium is part of the full-day program offerings at our Challenger Learning Center.
Our portable planetarium system, sponsored in part by the Bruni Foundation, presents fully interactive programs in Earth and Space Science for all ages. All planetarium programs are accompanied by classroom curriculum and hands-on activities. We currently have several planetarium programs to choose from. Click Here for more information about our planetarium programs.
Maker Space Programs at the Challenger Center
Marsbound(grades 6-12) This engaging NASA-developed design challenge pits student engineering teams competing to balance financial, launch vehicle, mass and power constraints while planning a mission to the Red Planet. Can you be NASA's top mission planner?
Sphero Robotics (grades 4-12) Students program interactive, eye-catching, robots. Utilizing an endless array of coding capabilities, teams work together to complete an epic and educational programming challenge they won’t soon forget. No prior programming experience required.
Wonder Workshop Robotics (grades K-12) Calling tomorrow's out-of-the-box innovators! Students will test their engineering, problem-solving and computational skills during this drag and drop programming sessions - using Dash and Cue robots. No prior programming experience required.
Extraordinaires Design Studio (grades 4-12) Apply Makerspace methods that encourage everyone to be part of developing a more desirable future for all. Challenge your students to conceptualize and create a project to improve the life of some unique characters. Creative thinking required!
Breakout Boxes (grades 6-19) Do you have what it takes to solve a space-themed mystery and save US Spacecom from a break-in? Using critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, and communication, students apply Breakout Boxes to practice collaboration and problem-solving skills in this time-pressured, entertaining session.
Engineering Design Challenges (Kindergarten to 12th Grade)
LEGO® WeDos and Simple Machines are exercises in brainstorming and creativity. Students design and build a complex machine according to a set of design criteria. Working in teams, students learn about robotics, problem solving, and engineering through designing, building, and testing their LEGO® Simple Machines. Additional information about LEGO® can be found at www.education.lego.com.
Teacher involvement and pre-mission training are essential components of all Challenger simulation programs. Therefore, to maintain the highest standards of program quality and service, all teachers participating in Challenger Programs are required to complete a curriculum training session. All training sessions cover classroom curriculum and standards, program logistics, and background content. Professional development credit through individual districts, BOCES, or Colorado School of Mines is available for Challenger simulator missions.
STEM Bootcamp provides some of the best project-based learning teacher professional development offered in the U.S. Over a period of three days about 120 elementary, middle, and high school educators from across the state gather at the U.S. Air Force Academy to learn better ways to engage their students in hands-on, challenging topics.
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