Press Releases  |  10.20.2022

Challenger Learning Center at Wheeling University Awarded Arthur C. Clarke Award for Innovation in Education

Challenger Center

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Wheeling, WV, and Washington, D.C. (October 17, 2022)Challenger Center has recognized Challenger Learning Center at Wheeling University with the Arthur C. Clarke Award for Innovation in Education for their collaboration with the West Virginia Department of Education to deliver distance learning experiences to students at 15 state juvenile corrections facilities.

The collaboration between the Challenger Learning Center at Wheeling University and the West Virginia Department of Education provides drop-in-style digital programming that allowed students to immerse themselves in an educational experience while simultaneously addressing standards required by the Department of Education.

Challenger Center’s President and CEO, Lance Bush, shared, “We’re thrilled to be able to reach a group of students who may otherwise be overlooked within the general education system; to not only provide them with learning experiences that help them regain feelings of belonging with their peers, in their communities, and in society, but to provide them with opportunities to dream about their futures within the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) professions.”

This programming not only provides students with a brief relief from isolation, which intensified since early 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but concurrently assisted juvenile corrections facility educators as they prepared for a return to in-person experiences. It also addresses issues resulting from changes in classroom dynamics due to evolving court dates and lawyer appointments, as well as education staffing turnover.

“Our goal was to promote equitable learning experiences for students within the juvenile detention system and provide them with communication and teamwork skills through our distance learning programs—reaching an audience that is too often forgotten,” said Lori Kudlak, Assistant Director at Challenger Learning Center at Wheeling University. “We hope to inspire these students to think and dream about their futures.”

Each year, the Arthur C. Clarke Award for Innovation in Education recognizes a Challenger Learning Center that has implemented a new, innovative program or project that impacts student learning, supports teachers, and/or promotes creativity. The award was presented during Challenger Center’s 2022 Annual Conference, which was held virtually. Challenger Learning Center at Wheeling University will receive $400 as part of this year’s award. Award nominations were made by Challenger Learning Centers across the country.

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About Challenger Center

As a leader in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education, Challenger Center provides more than 250,000 students annually with experiential education programs that engage students in hands-on learning opportunities. These programs, delivered in Challenger Learning Centers and classrooms, strengthen knowledge in STEM subjects and inspire students to pursue careers in these important fields. Challenger Center was created by the Challenger families to honor the crew of shuttle flight STS-51-L. For more information about Challenger Center, please visit www.challenger.org or connect on  Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

About Challenger Learning Center at Wheeling University

The Challenger Learning Center at Wheeling University opened in 1994 and is one of 37 Centers worldwide, reaching more than 350,000 students and adult learners. Each year, more than 30,000 students fly missions on-site in Wheeling or via videoconferencing through e-Missions™. For mor information about Challenger Learning Center at Wheeling University, please visit clc.cet.edu or connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Contacts

Sara Espinosa, Director of Communications, Challenger Center
sespinosa@challenger.org
202-827-1575

Jackie Shia, Director, Challenger Learning Center at Wheeling University
304-243-4431
jshia@wheeling.edu