Press Releases  |  4.13.2015

June Scobee Rodgers Receives Alan Shepard Technology in Education Award

June Scobee Rodgers, Ph.D., Founding Chair of Challenger Center was named recipient of the 2015 Alan Shepard Technology in Education Award. The award is given annually in recognition of creative and innovative use of technology by K-12 educators, or district-level education personnel and is selected by the Astronauts Memorial Foundation (AMF), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Space Foundation.

The award was be presented to Scobee Rodgers during the opening ceremony of the Space Foundation’s 31st Space Symposium at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Scobee Rodgers is the widow of Francis Richard “Dick” Scobee, who was killed commanding the Space Shuttle Challenger on Jan. 28, 1986, after booster failure during launch of the STS-51-L mission. From the moment following the Challenger tragedy, Scobee Rodgers has dedicated her time and energy to continuing the crew’s educational mission. She founded Challenger Center to foster a new generation of “star challengers” – young people who will reach for the stars no matter their circumstances.

While best known for her tireless efforts on behalf of Challenger Center, Scobee Rodgers has also gained attention for her work as an author. Together with co-authors and international bestselling authors, Rebecca Moesta and Kevin J. Anderson, Scobee Rodgers created “Star Challengers,” science adventure books for young readers. The three book series takes readers on a journey to the future and a real moon base in trouble, where they learn skills to save the human race. The books are designed to spark student interest in space and careers in science and technology. Her book “Silver Linings: My Life Before and After Challenger 7”, is the expanded story of her book, “Silver Linings: Triumph of the Challenger 7,” first published in 1995. More than the story of a ragged teenager who struggles to overcome adversity, it is a coming of age story that deals with a wide range of issues about personal triumph and dreams to soar above it.

An active and prominent leader in education throughout her professional life, Scobee Rodgers has been a classroom teacher and university professor, served as a consultant to local, state and federal education agencies, and become a nationally recognized advocate for the advancement of science and math education. She is married to retired Lt. Gen Don Rodgers, and together they have three adult children.

About the Award
Alan Shepard, one of the nation’s original seven Mercury astronauts, was the first American to fly in space, one of only 12 humans who have walked on the Moon and a former AMF board member. The award named for him recognizes excellence, quality and innovation in the development and application of technology in the classroom, or to the professional development of teachers. More information about the award is available at, and see the list of past recipients at

About Challenger Center for Space Science Education (Challenger Center)
As a leader in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education, Challenger Center and its international network of Challenger Learning Centers use space simulations to engage students in dynamic, hands-on opportunities. These experiences strengthen knowledge in STEM subjects and inspire students to pursue careers in these important fields. Centers reach hundreds of thousands of students and tens of thousands of teachers each year. Founded in 1986, Challenger Center was created to honor the crew of shuttle flight STS-51-L: Dick Scobee, Gregory Jarvis, Christa McAuliffe, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Judith Resnik, and Michael J. Smith. Learn more about Challenger Center at and connect with us on, and

About the Astronaut Memorial Foundation
AMF, based at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, honors and memorializes astronauts who have sacrificed their lives for the nation and the space program by sponsoring the national Space Mirror Memorial and by implementing innovative educational technology programs. AMF partners with NASA to provide technology training to educators throughout the nation with emphasis on space-related technology. In addition, at The Center for Space Education, AMF offers space-related educational opportunities for individuals to improve the quality of the workforce in the space industry. For more information, go to

About the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
NASA is an agency of the United States government, responsible for the nation’s civilian space program and aeronautics and aerospace research. Operational since 1958, NASA’s mission is to pioneer the future in space exploration, scientific discovery, and aeronautics research. It has led U.S. space exploration including the Mercury and Gemini space programs, the Apollo missions to the Moon, the Space Shuttle, U.S. involvement in the International Space Station, the Hubble Telescope and robotic interplanetary and distant space missions. NASA is also responsible for long-term civilian and military aerospace research and research focused on better understanding Earth, the solar systems, and the universe beyond. For more information, go to

About the Space Foundation
Founded in 1983, the Space Foundation is the foremost advocate for all sectors of space, and is a global, nonprofit leader in space awareness activities, educational programs and major industry events, including the annual Space Symposium, in support of its mission “to advance space-related endeavors to inspire, enable and propel humanity.” Space Foundation World Headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colo., USA, has a public Discovery Center, including El Pomar Space Gallery, Northrop Grumman Science Center featuring Science On a Sphere® and the Lockheed Martin Space Education Center. The Space Foundation has a field office in Houston and conducts government affairs from its Washington, D.C., office. It annually publishes The Space Report: The Authoritative Guide to Global Space Activity, and through its Space CertificationTM and Space Technology Hall of Fame® programs, recognizes space-based innovations that have been adapted to improve life on Earth.