Earth and Space Science

Challenger Mission

I've heard a lot and had the privilege of seeing students participate in the "Challenger Mission" that they run near Barber's Point Elementary I think. This is mostly for middle schoolers though. For those of you who don't know what the challenger mission is, basically students work together to try and land on the moon (they need to get into orbit and then land safely) through a simulation that seems pretty real. I'm by no means an expert on this, so if anyone else knows more or can add their two cents, I have two questions. 1) What are your thoughts about the Challenger Mission and how do you prepare your students for it? 2) Does anyone know if high schoolers can also participate? It's really hard for me to come up with activities or hands on things to do when learning about space because you can't actually send the students into space or come close to doing the real thing...

Loren Nomura
Loren Nomura
4055 Activity Points

I have done several of the Challenger missions with my sixth grade students. There is also a comet mission and a Mars mission. As for material leading up to it, once you have enrolled a class, they give you a large notebook with lots of activities leading up to the mission so that your students are prepared to have full interaction with the mission. It is up to the local Challenger Center as to what ages they allow, but I think it would be an excellent experience for high school students. I have seen teachers at a workshop enjoy it as much as the kids and even act like kids!

Betty Paulsell
Betty Paulsell
48550 Activity Points

I teach in Kona and we have a space museum dedicated to Ellison Onizuka, who died in the Challenger explosion and was from Kona. Many second graders go to The Astronaut Ellison S. Onizuka Space Center on a field trip, so they learn about the challenger explosion early on. It is sad for them to learn about but they are also proud that someone from their hometown was an astronaut. I find that students also really connect to the fact that there was a teacher on board.

Shawna Fischer
Shawna Fischer
2300 Activity Points

I teach on Oahu and we take our sixth graders to the Big Island every year. Our first stop is the Ellison Onizuka Museum since it's so close to the Kona airport. Our students love the hands-on activities they have set up all around the little museum. There is a short movie and the ladies that work there are very knowledgeable and great with the kids. I didn't realize they still did the space missions on Oahu. I remember participating in them when I was in elementary. Does any one have any contact information or cost per student? This might be a nice additional field trip prior to visiting the Big Island (E. Onisuka Museum). thanks Dawn

Dawn Nishimoto
Dawn Nishimoto
3015 Activity Points

Hi Everyone! The Challenger missions sound like a great opportunity for students to engage in learning about earth and space science! Can anyone provide some information about how you sign-up or where you find the details about the program? Thanks! Maureen

Maureen Stover
Maureen Stover
41030 Activity Points

Hi Maureen and everyone I found some information on the NASA Challenger Learning Centers http://www.challenger.org/'' target="_blank">http://www.challenger.org/' target="_blank">http://www.challenger.org/'' target="_blank">http://www.challenger.org/'' target="_blank">http://www.challenger.org/' target="_blank">http://www.challenger.org/' target="_blank">http://www.challenger.org/'' target="_blank">http://www.challenger.org/' target="_blank">http://www.challenger.org/ [i] Serving 400,000 students each year, the national network of 48 Challenger Learning Centers takes students on simulated space missions into Earth orbit, to the Moon, Mars and beyond. Search for a local Center here![/i] Here is the list: http://www.challenger.org/'' target="_blank">http://www.challenger.org/' target="_blank">http://www.challenger.org/'' target="_blank">http://www.challenger.org/'' target="_blank">http://www.challenger.org/' target="_blank">http://www.challenger.org/' target="_blank">http://www.challenger.org/'' target="_blank">http://www.challenger.org/' target="_blank">http://www.challenger.org/clc/network.cfm

Arlene Jurewicz-Leighton
Arlene Jurewicz Leighton
44543 Activity Points

I know this isn't quite what the original poster was asking, but I thought I would share this anyway. It was said that hands on activities are hard to do when teaching about space, and I couldn't agree more. I recently observed a science class where the lesson was about the life and death of stars. The students watched a really good Discovery channel video about the life and death of a star, but that's about all the teacher could offer them. I went in search of an online interactive activity that might make the lesson better, and I found the following website: http://www.worldwidetelescope.org/Home.aspx It is a virtual telescope that is free to download, and I think it is a great hands on exploration for students to learn about the universe. Just thought I would share this. Also, thanks for making me aware of the Challenger project. I will be on their site shortly to check it out.

Lance Threewitt
Lance Threewitt
2375 Activity Points

I'm not sure if anyone goes this far back on their posts but the contact info. for the original post and the teacher on Oahu is
Challenger Center Hawaii/LEEDO/HIDOE@HIDOE
This is an amazing program that our school used to participate in, but no longer does due to the high cost of airfare, but if you are on Oahu, I wouldn't hesitate... All students should do a Mission. However, teachers need to get trained before taking their students.

Last, if you come to the Big Island or live here, 'Imiloa Astronomy Center in Hilo, is an amazing place to take your students to teach them about space. Admission is $6-$9 per a student depending on what you want. I believe they also take care of the bus, even if you are in Kona, at least they did last year. Their web address is below:

http://www.imiloahawaii.org/

Tabitha (Booth) Secretario
Tabitha Booth
3385 Activity Points

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