Blogs  |  12.16.2021

Preparing for Launch: Challenger Learning Center at Montgomery County Community College

Challenger Center

Challenger Center and our partners at Montgomery County Community College and St. Clair County Community College have worked diligently to prepare to open two new Challenger Learning Centers in Pennsylvania and Michigan!

Slated to open in early 2022, each Center has been designed for their respective locations at each campus to optimize space and layout. As desks, monitors, software, and signage are installed, the Challenger Learning Centers are transforming former blank spaces into Mission Control, Spacecraft, and a Transport Room. These new spaces are designed to serve the broadest range of students yet, and utilize a unique combination of computer simulations and hands-on interactive labs.

In order to create the most realistic experience possible, the Centers will rely heavily on state-of-the-art technology to bring the Center Missions to life. For example, in every Mission, students will be broken into two teams, with one set heading to space in the Spacecraft, and the other guiding them from Mission Control. The teams swap spaces mid-way through the Mission, but regular communication via headsets and chat allows them to work as a team. The new Challenger Learning Center design includes new graphics and signage featuring imagery of the Challenger crew, iconic space missions, and words of encouragement from past Presidents and Challenger crew members. Digital displays throughout the Center support the most interactive and intuitive designs of a Challenger Learning Center.

The opening of each Center is a team effort. While several teams work together to install the brick-and-mortar components of the Center, Challenger Center’s Education team works closely with staff at each college to train Flight Directors and Challenger Learning Center staff. The relationships between Challenger Center and Challenger Learning Center staff play an important role in improving and enhancing programs so that students from all backgrounds have access to Challenger Center’s hands-on STEM programs.

The Challenger Learning Center at Montgomery County Community College, located in Pottstown, PA, will be the first Center in Pennsylvania and serve students in the Philadelphia area. The Challenger Learning Center at St. Clair County Community College, located in Port Huron, Michigan, will serve students in Michigan and Ontario communities.

Check out the journey – from construction to official countdown – from the Challenger Learning Center at Montgomery County Community College.