Press Releases  |  2.5.2021

Challenger Center Partners with Community Colleges in Michigan and Pennsylvania

We are excited to announce partnerships with Montgomery County Community College in Pottstown, PA and St. Clair County Community College in Port Huron, MI to open Challenger Learning Centers on their respective campuses.

“We are thrilled to welcome Montgomery County Community College and St. Clair County Community College to the Challenger Center organization and look forward to seeing the students in those communities experience our STEM programs,” said Lance Bush, Challenger Center president and CEO. “As we celebrate Challenger Center’s 35th anniversary this year, there’s no better way to recognize such an important milestone than with the opportunity to inspire more students.  These new Centers and Community College partners will allow us to do just that.”

Challenger Learning Center at Montgomery County Community College, scheduled for a late 2021 opening, will serve students in the Philadelphia metro area.

“We are delighted to announce this collaboration with Challenger Center to offer these valuable STEM educational resources,” said Dr. Victoria L. Bastecki-Perez, Montgomery County Community College President. “As the communities’ college, MCCC truly serves the educational needs of students at all ages and stages through innovative, meaningful learning experiences. The Challenger Learning Center will not only introduce students to STEM, but it also will inspire them to pursue higher education, hopefully in STEM fields, that will lead them to high-demand careers with family-sustainable wages. This workforce pipeline will help Montgomery County and the region during this time of economic recovery.”

Challenger Learning Center at St. Clair County Community College will serve students in both Michigan and Ontario and is currently slated to open in early 2022.

“St. Clair County Community College is an ideal location for a Challenger Learning Center,” said Dr. Deborah Snyder, president of St. Clair County Community College. “We are committed to expanding student interest in STEM and encouraging STEM higher education opportunities on our campus. The addition of a Challenger Learning Center supports the college and our community by fostering a robust culture of STEM, strengthening STEM education opportunities, integrating business, industry and educational entities, and creating high-quality educational experiences for learners of all ages.”

The foundation of each Challenger Learning Center is the custom-designed simulator where students fly space-themed missions. The Centers in Port Huron and Pottstown will house our newly designed, fully-immersive environment including– Briefing and Transport Rooms, Mission Control Room and Spacecraft. Students start their experience in a Briefing Room where they learn their roles and set goals for the Mission. Half of the students head to the Transport Room, buckle in, and launch to the Spacecraft, a room designed to look like the interior of a space station. The other half reports to Mission Control, a room inspired by Blue Origin’s Mission Control rooms. In Spacecraft, student teams use real science equipment to conduct hands-on labs and gather data. In Mission Control, students analyze data received from Spacecraft. Together, the students engage in meaningful communication, collaboration, and problem solving to achieve their mission goals, such as finding life on Mars or water on the Moon.