As launch of space-themed Challenger Learning Center nears, SC4 opens registration for first program

T-minus 181 days and counting.

So the counter reads on the new website for the Challenger Learning Center, the much-anticipated and interactive educational experience set to launch on St. Clair County Community College’s campus in the spring of 2022. The space-themed learning center will be one of just 40 such Challenger centers worldwide and the only one based in Michigan.

With the launch of the website, registration opens for their Lunar Quest mission, one of four educational programs initially planned for the learning center.

“We’re thrilled to launch this website and open registration for those interested in reserving a mission experience,” says Dr. Deborah Snyder, president of St. Clair County Community College. “Our nation needs future leaders who are adept at understanding and solving the challenging problems of today and the future. The Challenger Learning Center at SC4 will help support STEM education, exploration and innovation with experiences that go far beyond an everyday field trip, outing or corporate training session.”

Lunar Quest, which teaches student “crew members” critical science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills while engaging in a fun and interactive space mission, aligns with the learning center’s larger goal of preparing students for STEM-based careers in the 21st century.

The Challenger Learning Center comes to the SC4 campus thanks to a partnership between SC4, the Washington, D.C.-based Challenger Center nonprofit, and Unity in Learning, which includes the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum, the Leslie Science & Nature Center, and the Yankee Air Museum.

“The Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum is delighted to collaborate with SC4 upon the opening of the new Challenger Center. This new informal learning experience will immerse each participant into life-like simulations well beyond anything previously available in Southeast Michigan,” says Mel Drumm, president and CEO of Unity in Learning.

“As the newest member of the region’s Unity in Learning collaborative, the Challenger Center will join with three regional science, nature and aviation organizations to become the region’s newest destination for hands-on discovery, exploration of the natural world and experiences that take flight.”

The Challenger Learning Center aims to attract students from both Michigan and Ontario. While programming is geared toward students ranging in the 5th to 8th grades, learners of all ages are invited to enjoy the new center. Half- and full-day experiences will initially be available with a Galaxy Quest STEM Summer Camp set to debut in the beginning of summer 2022.

“We’re incredibly excited to see the momentum continue to build for the Challenger Learning Center at SC4,” says Lance Bush, president and CEO, Challenger Center. “We’re hard at work building the Spacecraft and preparing Mission Control to welcome students and community members to fly our newest space missions that we developed in partnership with NASA. The countdown has started and we can’t wait to open the doors of this new Center in 2022.”

Visit the Challenger Learning Center online for registration info and more.