Onsite (Grades 4-12)

Imagine, Inspire, Explore … as you blast off into space for an out of this world experience unlike any other!

A visit to our Challenger Learning Center® on the campus of Wheeling Jesuit University in Wheeling, WV, provides a unique learning experience that seeks to engage and inspire young minds through the excitement of space exploration. Participants are transformed into astronauts, scientists, engineers, and researchers working together to explore the “Red Planet” in Expedition Mars. The mission control crew directs the activities of the astronauts onboard the spacecraft—navigating, maintaining critical life support systems, communicating, and solving emergencies. Through the pretext of space exploration, our missions also incorporate the life skills of cooperation, communication, critical thinking, and problem solving as we seek to turn students’ momentary successes into life-changing lessons.The adventure awaits your crew here at the Challenger Learning Center. Book a mission today and extend the learning beyond the boundaries of your classroom!


Micronauts (Grades K-3)

With the addition of the Micronauts program, our Challenger Learning Center has opened its airlock doors to space adventures for students in grades K-3. With their natural curiosity and excitement about space and space travel, these students are the perfect age for an awe-inspiring learning experience. Students begin their mission in our planetarium as we travel 230 miles above Earth to the International Space Station As we dock with the space station, students step inside our one-of-a-kind Micronauts simulator. There they become astronauts and scientists for the day as they conduct a series of innovative, standards-based, hands-on activities and experiments. This endeavor challenges students to learn principals of science, math, engineering, and important early messages about cooperation and problem solving—all while having fun! The Micronauts program is a unique opportunity designed to provide you and your students an unforgettable encounter with space, science, and technology. Book a mission here.


Distance Learning (Grades K-12)

Our Challenger Learning Center has developed an innovative distance learning program called e-Missions™ that links us to classrooms anywhere in the world. Each e-Mission provides teachers with an all-inclusive curriculum package comprised of teacher training and support, online lesson plans and materials aligned with standards, and technical support. Each e-Mission culminates with a live event conducted via videoconference between your classroom and mission control. During the live event your class will assemble as an emergency response team working to handle a problem situation as the scenario unfolds and conditions change. Every few minutes new data is beamed to your classroom via satellite. Expert teams analyze the data and make recommendations to the flight director at mission control. The class responds to the situation in an ongoing fashion throughout the mission until they solve the problem at hand.



Crew of Challenger STS-51-L

Hover over or tap any of the images below to learn about the Challenger astronauts.

Gregory B. Jarvis
Payload Specialist
Gregory Jarvis was born Aug. 24, 1944, in Detroit. He received his bachelor of science in electrical engineering from State University of New York at Buffalo in 1967 and a master\’s in electrical engineering from Northeastern University in 1969. After years working for the Air Force and Hughes Aircraft\’s Space and Communications Group, he was selected in 1984 as a payload specialist candidate for NASA. Jarvis was later named a payload specialist for the STS-51-L crew aboard the Challenger space shuttle alongside fellow civilian payload specialist, Christa McAuliffe. His duties were to conduct fluid dynamics experiments that would have tested the reactions of satellite propellants to various shuttle maneuvers and simulated spacecraft movements. He was survived by his wife, Marcia.

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