Montgomery County Community College is holding a ribbon-cutting ceremony at its Pottstown Campus next 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 Pottstown’s Riverfront Park community day (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).