Challenger Learning Center 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 www.challenger.org.
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 1,200 missions and added programming such as summer camps, scouting workshops, e-Missions and professional development for area teachers.
©2012 Challenger Learning Center at Paducah