AN EDUCATION IN EXPLORATION
The mission of the Challenger Learning Center is to inspire generations to accomplish things that may at first appear impossible. Our primary goals include:
- provide hands-on, real world interactive educational experiences to students of all ages throughout central Illinois.
- conduct simulated missions for school groups as a culminating experience to an interdisciplinary classroom curriculum.
- improve the quality of Illinois education by providing state-of-the-art training and professional development opportunities and curriculum resources for classroom teachers.
- increase student interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) careers by raising awareness of opportunities in those fields.
NEXT GENERATION SCIENCE STANDARDS
The NGSS are based on a framework that articulates a broad set of expectations for students in science, focusing on the development of scientifically literate students. It is no longer a matter of what students know, but what they are able to do. As a result, NGSS are built around these three dimensions:
Scientific and engineering practices; Crosscutting concepts that unify the study of science and engineering through their applications across fields; and Core ideas in four disciplinary areas: physical sciences, life sciences; earth and space sciences; and engineering, technology, and applications of science.
By focusing on a limited number of disciplinary core ideas and crosscutting concepts, students are provided opportunities to build on and revise their knowledge and integrate their knowledge and ability with practices that engage in scientific inquiry and engineering design. To help educators prepare for the NGSS, links regarding the Framework and NGSS have been posted here. As the NGSS are finalized and adopted, look for professional development workshops at the CLC.
2012-13 SPACE MISSIONS FOR SCHOOLS
The Challenger Learning Center provides simulated space missions to central Illinois schools of K-12 students.
Kindergarten through fourth grade students take on the roles of astronauts, scientists, and engineers during their MICRONAUT mission.
Students in grades fifth through eighth become the flight controllers and astronauts during their SCHOOL mission to Rendezvous with a Comet, or take a Voyage to Mars.
Ninth through twelfth grade students not only become the flight controllers and astronauts during their HIGH SCHOOL mission, but also lead their mission, Operation: Planet Rescue.
To find out more about our simulated space missions for schools or to register for a mission click here.
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