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Challenger Center Commemorates 30th Anniversary of Shuttle Tragedy

Press Release From: Challenger Center for Space Science Education
Posted: Thursday, January 21, 2016

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Challenger Center, the living legacy to the astronauts of the Space Shuttle Challenger, continues inspiring the future 30 years after the accident. The leading science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education organization, founded by the Challenger families, has educated over 4.4 million students at more than 40 Challenger Learning Centers around the globe.

On January 28, the anniversary of the accident, Challenger Center will accompany family members to events at Arlington National Cemetery and Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex to remember the Challenger crew. Challenger Learning Centers around the country will recognize the anniversary through special events, programs, and discussions with their local students, teachers, and community members.

“The Challenger families agreed it was important for the world to remember how the crew lived and what they were passionate about, not how they died,” said Dr. June Scobee Rodgers, founding chair, Challenger Center, and widow of Challenger commander Dick Scobee. “I know Dick and the crew would be so proud. They would love the enthusiasm of the children who visit our Centers. They were inspiring the future 30 years ago, and we’re so pleased that the mission continues to live on today through our Challenger Learning Centers."

Each Challenger Learning Center transports students into a cutting edge Mission Control room and a high-tech Space Station. Using custom-designed simulations, students have the opportunity to fly one of several missions to study the Earth, Moon, Mars, or a Comet. The missions are aligned with current national education standards and are accompanied by classroom lessons and activities. This differentiated approach allows for a truly personalized learning experience where students apply scientific knowledge to real-world scenarios and practice 21st century skills like problem solving, critical thinking, communication and teamwork.

“Challenger Center is inspiring today’s students to see their full potential and follow a path that leads to a career in the STEM industry,” said Dr. Lance Bush, president and CEO, Challenger Center. “Never before has this mission been so critical. Just as the Challenger crew demonstrated a true commitment to being innovators, we work to inspire that desire and passion for innovation in our Challenger Center students.”

The crew members of shuttle flight STS-51-L included Teacher-in-Space Payload Specialist Sharon Christa McAuliffe, Commander Francis R. “Dick” Scobee, Pilot Michael J. Smith, Mission Specialists Judith A. Resnik, Ellison S. Onizuka and Ronald E. McNair and Payload Specialist Gregory B. Jarvis.

About Challenger Center

As a leader in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education, Challenger Center and its international network of Challenger Learning Centers use space simulations 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. Centers reach 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. Learn more at www.challenger.org. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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Lisa Vernal
Senior Director of Communications
Challenger Center
422 1st Street SE, 3rd Floor
Washington, DC 20003
Main Office: 202-827-1580
Direct: 202-827-1573
lvernal@challenger.org

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