Press Releases  |  11.3.2021

Challenger Center Awarded $2.9 Million NASA Grant to Expand Program Offerings

Challenger Center

Grant will fund the development of new Earth-themed simulated mission and translate three Center Missions to Spanish

Washington, D.C. (November 3, 2021) – Challenger Center, a leading science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education organization, was awarded $2.9 million in funding through NASA’s Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Science (ROSES) grant. The funds will be used to develop an Earth-themed Center Mission, Earth Odyssey, and translate three Center Missions – Earth Odyssey, Expedition Mars, and Lunar Quest – from English to Spanish.

“The success of our future STEM workforce is largely dependent on increasing diversity within STEM occupations, because diversity brings with it new methods of thinking, new problem-solving skills, and new communication tools that are vital to innovation,” said Lance Bush, president and CEO, Challenger Center. “The ROSES grant from NASA allows us to expand and improve our programs to better engage students, particularly those who are underrepresented in STEM fields. We’re extremely grateful for NASA’s continued support in our programs.”

The new Earth Odyssey will join a suite of Center Missions, which are space-themed simulated learning experiences led by trained Flight Directors at Challenger Learning Centers. The experiences take place in fully immersive Space Station and Mission Control rooms. Earth Odyssey will be an exciting addition to the program suite, focusing on Earth science, the impacts of climate change, NASA’s role in studying our planet, and the role students could play in climate disaster mitigation. In addition to developing Earth Odyssey, the Mission will also be translated to Spanish, as will Expedition Mars and Lunar Quest Missions.

Challenger Center was one of eight awardees selected by NASA’s Science Mission Directorate (SMD) in collaboration with the agency’s Office of STEM Engagement. The new Center Mission, Earth Odyssey, and translation of three Missions to Spanish supports NASA’s Science Activation Program, a collaborative network of competitively selected teams that connect NASA science experts, real content, and experiences with community leaders to do science in ways that activate minds and promote deeper understanding of our world and beyond.