June Scobee Rodgers, Ph.D., founding chair of Challenger Center and widow of Challenger Space Shuttle Commander Richard “Dick” Scobee, will be featured at the April 30 public launch of the Challenger Learning Center at St. Clair County Community College (SC4). She will be joined at the event by former NASA astronauts Robert Curbeam, senior vice president of space capture at Maxar Technologies, and Dorothy (“Dottie”) Metcalf-Lindenburger, earth scientist at Geosyntec Consultants, LCC.
“We are thrilled to welcome June, Robert and Dottie to campus for this event, which honors the legacy of the Challenger crew and opens the door to new and exciting immersive STEM education and engagement opportunities for Michigan and Ontario residents,” said Challenger Learning Center at SC4 partners Dr. Deborah Snyder, president of St. Clair County Community College, Lance Bush, president and CEO of Challenger Center, and Mel Drumm, president and CEO of Unity in Learning (Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum, the Leslie Science & Nature Center, the Yankee Air Museum and SC4) in a joint statement.
Challenger Center was founded in 1986 in the aftermath of the Challenger shuttle tragedy. The families of the crew came together and created Challenger Center to carry on the spirit of their loved ones and continue the Challenger crew’s educational mission. Challenger Center, with its network of Challenger Learning Centers and digital programs, has reached more than 5.5 million students and learners worldwide.
Challenger Learning Center at SC4 is the only Center of its kind in Michigan and one of 40 Challenger Learning Centers nationwide and around the world. It is a fully immersive, space-themed, STEM experience aimed at deepening understanding and appreciation of STEM careers and topics and building critical 21st-century skills. It offers a unique learning and team-building opportunities for students, educators, corporations and community residents.
“The Challenger crew’s desire to teach and inspire our children lives on in each of our Challenger Learning Centers around the globe,” Scobee Rodgers said. “We are thrilled to be welcoming St. Clair County Community College to this group of Centers and bring our inspiring STEM programs to the community. Robert, Dottie, and I look forward to being on the campus of SC4 to celebrate the grand opening!”
The launch event on April 30 will take place in two sessions between 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. and is free and open to the public, though registration is required. It will take place throughout the Experience Center, located in the Clara E. Mackenzie Building, and also will feature opportunities to tour the Challenger Learning Center and conduct Super Sciences experiments.
Guests to the April 30 launch event also can take advantage of other Experience Center highlights, including the Dr. Bassam H. Nasr Natural Science Museum, Live Sturgeon, Jacob’s Ladder, Green Screen Photo Experience, Mineral Gallery, Fossil Dig, Bird and Technology exhibits.
Challenger Learning Center at SC4 also has opened early registration for the first full space mission offering, Lunar Quest, which is available for learners in 5th grade and above.