Challenger Center is a leading STEM education nonprofit organization that develops and delivers simulation-based STEM programs to students at Challenger Learning Centers and in classrooms.


Our People

We’re on a mission to inspire the next generation of explorers and innovators through hands-on STEM education experiences. At the heart of Challenger Center lies our people—staff, champions, Challenger Learning Centers, and partners—who are sparking a passion for learning in students that lasts a lifetime.

Our Legacy

In the aftermath of the Challenger STS-51L tragedy, the crew’s families came together, firmly committed to carrying on the spirit of their loved ones by continuing their education mission. In April 1986, they created Challenger Center for Space Science Education.

The families’ vision was to create a place that would inspire children; where students could conduct experiments, collaborate to solve problems, and immerse themselves in space-like surroundings. Their goal was to spark an interest and joy in STEM. A spark that could change the trajectory of children’s futures.

To date, Challenger Center has reached more than 6 million students globally and continues to inspire hundreds of thousands of students every year.

Our Mission

Engage students and teachers in dynamic, hands-on exploration and discovery opportunities that strengthen knowledge in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), inspire students to pursue careers in these fields, and provide an outlet to learn and apply important life skills.

Our Vision

Build a scientifically literate public and shape our future leaders to help improve quality of life across the globe—not just through pragmatic teaching, but also by the power of vision, inspiration, and innovation.

In 2021, Challenger Center’s revenue was just over $7.1 million. Eighty-seven percent of our revenue went directly to the development and delivery of our impactful STEM education programs around the world. This includes the development of Center Missions that are enabling Challenger Learning Centers to welcome students back with new, exciting missions to space. We also secured funding that enables Centers to provide free programming to schools. Finally, in 2021, we established new partnerships with two community colleges to build and host Challenger Learning Centers on their campuses.

We are grateful to our government, corporate, and foundation partners, and to all the individual supporters who contributed in 2021. These organizations and people support us in many ways, including monetary gifts and in-kind contributions of their expertise and resources. It is your support that enabled us to ignite the potential in students in 2021 and will help us to ignite the potential in millions more in future years – thank you.