Students and Educators

Today’s students are tomorrow’s innovators. But too many lose interest in crucial subjects like science, technology, engineering and math at an early age. This limits their opportunities in life and their career options in a global economy.

To succeed in a rapidly changing world, students need exposure to a variety of fields, chances to work with their fellow students in real-world scenarios, and experiences that open their eyes to new possibilities for the future.

The Challenger Learning Center at SC4 offers experiences that go far beyond a typical field trip for students in grades 3-12 (and beyond!) and educators in Michigan and Ontario. The space-themed simulation-based experiences are led by trained Flight Directors and take place in a fully immersive Space Station and Mission Control.

Surrounded by technology, each student plays a unique role in the mission as the team completes assignments, manipulates hands-on labs and copes with simulated emergencies. Teamwork is crucial, if one member fails to complete a job, the entire mission can be put at risk. This differentiated approach allows for a truly personalized learning experience where students apply critical, scientific knowledge to real-world scenarios.

Aligned with national education standards (varies based on mission) and informed by real science data, Center Missions excite students about STEM, introduce students to careers in these fields, and help students build important 21st-century skills like critical thinking, problem-solving and collaboration.

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Scheduling the below flights and camps now!

Lunar quest logo

Mission: Lunar Quest

NASA recently launched a Rover to the Moon to explore new areas and collect critical scientific data. However, the Rover lost power before any of the findings were sent back to Earth. A faster and more reliable process to gather this type of information is needed. The result is a new directive from NASA – human astronauts will return to the Moon!

A team of astronauts must board a Spacecraft and launch to the Moon in search of a long-term habitat on the Moon. A team of scientists and engineers are stationed in Mission Control on Earth to command and assist the astronauts on their mission. Once the Spacecraft crew successfully lands on the Moon, they must deploy a Lunar Exploration Rover to investigate different areas of the lunar surface to identify a suitable location for a sustainable long-term human habitat.

However, when the crew receives troubling readings from below the Moon’s surface, the two teams must work together and make critical decisions to turn a potential catastrophe into NASA’s finest hour!

Open to learners in 5th grade and beyond! Lunar Quest meets national science standards for learners in grades 5-8 (scalable for 8th grade+ learners). Learners are assigned to a wide variety of STEM-based roles. Half-day (Min. 18 guests/Max. 34 guests) and full-day ( Min. 35 guests/Max. 68 guests) experiences are available. Mission Lunar Quest takes approximately 2.5 hours to complete and can be scheduled in conjunction with Experience Center programming. Lunch space is available as well.

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Briefing Room

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Learners begin their adventure in the Briefing Room, where they are assigned their team roles, receive their pre-mission brief and learn about their Mission goals before launch. From here, they receive their assignments: Mission Control team or Spacecraft crew.

Mission Control

Mission control

The Mission Control team guides Spacecraft crew members through their mission. The room is surrounded by large high-definition screens that enhance the visual experience and enable students the ability to observe flight paths, check on the status of the Mission, and watch a live feed of their teammates in the Spacecraft. Specialized lighting indicates emergencies, communications alerts, and Mission status. The new Challenger Learning Center Mission Control was designed with help from Blue Origin, drawing inspiration from their own New Glenn Mission Control.



Before the Spacecraft crew can initiate transport, they must go through the decontamination process.



Next, the Spacecraft crew enters the Transport Room. Once in jump seats, the launch sequence begins. Authentic video and audio communications combined with specialized lighting bring the experience to life.



The crew then enters Spacecraft, where they navigate through their Mission, conduct experiments (including using robotic arms, circuit assemblies and water labs), monitor crew health and safety, complete research, and communicate with teammates in Mission Control. Specialized lighting, like Mission Control, alerts students to emergencies, communications updates and Mission status. Large monitors above each workstation display emergency messages and videos throughout the experience.

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