Sacramento Challenger Learning Center

As a leader in science, technology, engineering and math

(STEM) education, Challenger Center and its international network of more than 40 Challenger Learning Centers use space-themed simulated learning environments 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. Challenger Learning Center Sacramento is part of the global network that reaches 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. To learn more, visit www.challenger.org.

psc_logo_rgb_fnlThe Sacramento Challenger Learning Center is located in the Powerhouse Science Center
Discovery Museum Campus. For information about the Powerhouse Science Center please visit the following website Powerhouse Science Center

Simulated Space Missions

Designed in cooperation with NASA, the Challenger Learning Center is an interactive educational program that uses the excitement of space flight simulation to inspire students.  As your students participate in one of three mission scenarios, they apply math science, technology, and language arts to solve real-life challenges, raising their expectations of success and inspiring them to “reach for the stars”.

All students experience both Mission Control (modeled after the Johnson Space Center) and the Spacecraft (a lab in a futuristic space vehicle).

In the Spacecraft, students conduct science experiments, record measurements, operate robotic arms, build a probe, and navigate through space.  In Mission Control, students use computers for research, use math to analyze data and monitor the status of the mission.  Everyone uses teamwork, communication, and problem solving skills to solve emergencies and accomplish mission objectives.

This engaging program was created by the Challenger Center for Space Science Education, an international, non-profit organization founded in 1986 by the families of the seven astronauts who were lost during the last flight of the Challenger Space Shuttle.

Mission Scenarios (5th-12th grade)

Rendezvous with Comet Halley TM

In 2061, Comet Halley is returning to our part of the solar system.  A team of scientists and engineers navigate through space in search of the comet as it approaches the Sun.  The objective is to launch a scientific probe through the expansive tail, collecting data for research.  Together, astronauts and mission controllers must accomplish the mission while overcoming unexpected problems.

Voyage to MarsTM

On Earth it is 2076.  Astronauts have occupied an established scientific base on Mars for two years, but it’s time for this crew to come home.  A replacement crew arriving from Earth will continue the scientific exploration of the cold, dusty planet and its two moons.  Mars Control team members are responsible for assisting with any emergencies that may arise and for bringing the approaching spacecraft in for a successful landing before making their long journey home.

Return to the MoonTM

The year is 2020.  For the first time since 1972, a crew of astronauts is returning to the Moon, this time to stay.  This mission establishes a permanent base on the Moon to continue scientific exploration, to test the feasibility of off-Earth settlements and to serve as a launch pad for reaching other planets.  The crew begins a new era in human planetary exploration.

Micronaut™ Mission (K-4th grade)

The Micronaut™ Mission takes place aboard the International Space Station. Scientists, engineers and mathematicians are engaged in a variety of hands on experiments as they travel 230 miles above the Earth’s surface. For more information about the Micronaut missions you can go to the following page: Micronaut™ Missions

Community Missions

Community Missions are a fun way for families, friends, co-workers, club members and scouts Ages 9 to 109 to participate in the Challenger Learning Center experience. Missions happen during some select Friday evenings.

For more information on how to reserve space in the mission please follow visit the Powerhouse Science Center website.