Montgomery County Community College is holding a ribbon-cutting ceremony at its Pottstown Campus this week to unveil its new Challenger Learning Center. It is a first-of-its-kind-in-the-state opportunity for students in grades five to eight to engage in science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) exploration in a unique way.
The Pottstown version joins 40 other Challenger Learning Centers worldwide. All use immersive learning environments to simulate an out-of-this-world educational experience for students.
The initiative was founded by the families of the astronauts — and first American teacher in space Christa McAuliffe — tragically lost during the 1986 Challenger space shuttle mission.
The experience that the Challenger Learning Centers brings to students includes:
- In-person simulation missions, in which participants are led by trained flight directors to embark on tasks in a fully immersive space station, guided by Mission Control.
- Classroom adventures, with Grade 3–5 targeted content on earth science, life science, and physical science.
- Janet’s Planet STEAM Astronaut Camp, in which an in-person educator poses astronaut challenges, science experiments, and hands-on learning to boost STEAM abilities.
After its Aug. 26 ribbon cutting (positioned as a “lift off”), the public is invited to visit the Challenger Learning Center on Aug. 27, as part of the Challenger Learning Center’s Grand Opening Community Day at Montco’s Pottstown Campus and Riverfront Park (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.). It will feature tours and mini-Challenger missions, STEM/STEAM activities, food trucks, and live music.
Specific questions about the MCCC Challenger Learning Center can be answered via email or phone (610.718.1938).