Challenger Learning Center History

Challenger STS 51-L Crew

National History

 On January 28, 1986, the seven crew members

 of the space shuttle Challenger set out on a

 mission to broaden educational horizons and

 promote the advance of scientific knowledge. In

 the aftermath of the Challenger accident, the

 crew's families came together still grieving from

 their loss, but firmly committed to the belief that

 they must carry on the spirit of their loved ones

 by continuing the Challenger crew's educational

 mission. In March of 1986, June Scobee Rodgers,

 widow of Challenger Shuttle Commander Dick

 Scobee, hosts a meeting in her Houston home

 with family members of the STS 51-L crew.



 They resolve to create a living memorial to the Challenger crew.  The idea of the Challenger

 Learning Centers was born. In August of 1988 the first Challenger Learning Center opened at

 the Houston Museum of Natural Science. The national organization, Challenger Center for

 Space Science Education, consists of a network of  approximately 50 centers across the

 nation and the world.  For more information about the  CCSSE visit

 Local History

 The Challenger Learning Center at Paducah is a result of a partnership between Paducah

 Junior College, Inc. and West Kentucky Community and Technical College.  With strong

 financial support from federal and state government as well as members of the local

 community, ground was broken for the construction of the CLC in April of 2001.  The

 Challenger Learning Center at Paducah officially opened on August 16, 2002, as the 44th

 member of the national Challenger Center for Space Science Education network.  Since the

 inaugural mission, Rendezvous With a Comet™ on September 16, 2002, the Challenger

 Learning Center at Paducah has flown over 2,000 missions and added programming such as

 summer camps, scouting workshops, after school programs and professional development

 for area teachers.  The center celebrated its 10th anniversary in August 2012.
























©2012 Challenger Learning Center at Paducah