The Challenger Learning Center at St. Clair County Community College’s (SC4) Experience Center will celebrate its official public launch on April 30, 2022, with an event on the College’s Port Huron, Mich., campus.
The Challenger Learning Center at SC4—in partnership with the Challenger Center, a nonprofit STEM education organization, and in collaboration with its Unity in Learning partner, which also includes the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum, the Leslie Science & Nature Center and the Yankee Air Museum—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.
The Challenger Learning Center at SC4 offers unique learning and team-building opportunities for students, educators, corporations and community residents, as well as unparalleled programming for 5th-8th grade learners (adaptable for 8th grade+) that aligns with national education standards. Early registration for the first space mission offering, Lunar Quest, is now open.
The launch event on April 30 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 will feature opportunities to tour the Challenger Learning Center, meet a NASA astronaut, conduct Super Sciences experiments and see live animals.
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, Wind and Solar, Jacob’s Ladder, Electromagnetism, Green Screen Photo Experience, Mineral Gallery, Fossil Dig, Bird, and Technology exhibits.
“We’re thrilled to announce our official launch date of the Challenger Learning Center at SC4 and welcome visitors to campus,” said Dr. Deborah Snyder, president of St. Clair County Community College. “We need to provide more opportunities for learners of all ages to engage in STEM experiences—to get them excited and passionate about solving 21st century challenges. We are so excited about what this addition in our Experience Center can and will do for our local and regional communities.”
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, have reached more than 5.5 million students worldwide.
“We are so excited to open the doors to this new Challenger Learning Center and welcome the Southeast Michigan community to see all that it has to offer,” said Lance Bush, president and CEO of Challenger Center. “SC4 shares our vision and commitment to inspire the next generation. We’re proud to help play a part in that commitment with the addition of the Challenger Learning Center at SC4.”
Added Mel Drumm, president and CEO of Unity in Learning, “The Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum is delighted to collaborate with SC4 upon the opening of the new Challenger Learning Center. This new informal learning experience will immerse each participant into life-like simulations well beyond anything previously available in Southeast Michigan. As the newest member of the region’s Unity in Learning collaborative, the Challenger Learning 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.”