Blogs  |  7.14.2020

Alumni Profile: Kenneth Harris

Challenger Center

Name: Kenneth Harris

Profession: Senior Satellite Engineer, Centauri

Education: University of Maryland, Baltimore County – Mechanical Engineering B.S; Johns Hopkins University – Engineering Management M.S

Which Challenger Learning Center did you visit?

Challenger Learning Center at Howard B. Owens Science Center. I visited the Center a number of times while in elementary school (age: 7-10) and for a summer camp when I was in Middle School (age 12).

What do you remember most from your experience?

I remember the simulated space missions the most. Growing up I would always see Mission Control in movies, but it was amazing to experience it first-hand. I really recall the amount of teamwork we used even at a young age to accomplish the mission we had.

Have you always been interested in STEM?

I have always had an interest in STEM because I was exposed to it at a very young age. My dad is an engineer and I got the chance to see his work pretty often.

Did the visit to the Challenger Learning Center affect your decision to pursue a STEM degree or career? If yes, how?

Although I knew I wanted to do something in the field of STEM. My experience at the Challenger Learning Center definitely reaffirmed that passion.

Why is STEM education so critical at a young age?

To get students excited and confident in the field! It is a critical point in their education, where math switches from just numbers to numbers and letters. If there is a lack of support among students, this can ultimately lead to a negative view of STEM and thus a pursuit of another field.

What advice would you give to students who want to pursue STEM degrees or careers?

Seek advice, whenever you have the chance. There are so many people within this field who truly want to see you succeed. Most importantly, keep striving. This is NOT an easy field, you will be truly challenged in every step. But the rewards are worth it.

In one sentence, how would you describe your Challenger Learning Center experience?

An experience necessary for students to see the future of STEM in action.

Why should people support Challenger Learning Center’s STEM programs?

In STEM, it is critical for students to see subjects they’re learning in the classroom in action. The Challenger Learning Center supplies these experiences for eager students to see the tangibility of their classroom lessons.