James WEBB Community Night

Free Community Event, Wednesday
October 20th with Virtual Attendance too!

TODAY! Join us 4 – 6pm for a night of space fun and explore the amazing capabilities of NASA’s WEBB telescope! If you can’t make it you can join virtually for a special presentation and Q&A from Dr. Vivian U, an observational extragalactic astronomer who uses state-of-the-art telescopes to understand how galaxies and their supermassive black holes coevolve.

Watch live on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dprgQ1LgaA0

or Join the Zoom Presentation at 5pm

Launch Meeting – Zoom

Meeting ID: 824 5188 3773

Passcode: 555201

Celebrate and learn about NASA’s new James Webb space telescope (WEBB) before the big space launch! October 20th, bring your family to Challenger Learning Center of Alaska for interactive activities exploring this magnificent WEBB telescope, from how it’s made, what it sees, to why it’s so important. There will be activities for all ages including tours of our simulator rooms and a star planetarium! No need to sign up, just come on in! 9711 Kenai Spur Highway, Kenai, AK 99611

Send your WEBB questions ahead of time, about merging galaxies, supermassive black holes, using infrared observations from the Webb Telescope and/or large ground-based telescopes to colette.gilmour@akchallenger.org
The Zoom link will be shared Wednesday morning on our Facebook, @CLCAlaska

See you there!
 

Informative Links:
James Webb Telescope Overview | NASA

www.jwst.nasa.gov

www.webbtelescope.org

www.nasa.gov/webb

Geo-Challenge Sept. 18 2021

The Amazing Geo-Challenge on the Kenai is Back!

GET YOUR TEAM READY!

At Challenger Learning Center of Alaska (CLCA), we delight in relevant and innovative learning; our community events are no different! After a couple of years off and some rebranding, we are excited to bring back our seven-year running, famous geocache rally to support youth education! Renamed the Amazing Geo-Challenge on the Kenai, this year will be bigger and better than ever. We are throwing in new surprises, harder challenges, roadblocks, a banquet, and a partnership with The Kenai Chamber of Commerce, incorporating community involvement all around Alaska’s playground. Proceeds will support Challenger’s youth educational programs and the Chamber’s youth scholarship fund. We invite you to be a part of this epic day of adventure for CLCA’s eighth annual geocache event, a real-world outdoor treasure hunt filled with challenges and exciting twists, September 18, 2021.

The Amazing Geo-Challenge on the Kenai will kick the day off with a bang! Throughout the day, teams work together to solve strategic GPS and science challenges. Caches will take them all around the Kenai Peninsula, highlighting local businesses and what makes the central Peninsula great. We know you will not want to miss being a part of this community-wide, action-packed event. Challenger, as a non-profit, values the importance of community support and partnership. Therefore, we want to foster these positive relations, bringing community members and businesses together for a team building, stress-relieving, fun day. As an added bonus for participating in the Amazing Geo-Challenge, the team will receive admission to the evening Mad Science Banquet, continuing the fun celebrating youth S.T.E.M. education. Admission for the Geo-Challenge is $400 for a team of four, full day of activities, lunch, t-shirt, prizes, awards, entry into the banquet, and dinner. The banquet fundraiser is $50 a ticket with a silent auction, dinner, drinks, activities, and more.

Our event may be fun-filled and casual, yet our approach to impacting Alaska’s student education is not. Challenger serves communities and schools statewide with onsite, virtual, and outreach educational opportunities in the science, technology, engineering, and math (S.T.E.M.) disciplines. Our vision is to strengthen workforce development by delivering stimulating, real-world activities to Alaskans and inspire students to pursue higher education and careers within S.T.E.M. fields. As a stand-alone facility, CLCA relies on fundraisers, earned revenue, and generous supporters to continue launching our mission throughout the state. Your participation in this exciting event will make a difference in the Kenai Peninsula community, the expansion, and quality of Challenger’s educational programs, and eight High School student scholarships between Kenai and Nikiski, enriching Alaskan youth.

Call up your business’s “rival” and challenge them to a race!

Visit www.akchallenger.org/geofundraiser for more event information and to sign your team up today! “Inspiring Alaska’s greatest natural resource: our students!”

Sponsored by Our Premium Sponsor: ConocoPhillips

Thank you to all our other wonderful sponsors who make this event possible: Northrim Bank, PCHS, Klauder & Co. Architects, Heather and Heather Screen Printing, and Odies Deli

2021-09-01T13:41:00

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Registration Ends

Exciting Bermuda Program for Alaskan Youth

Exciting Bermuda Program for Alaskan Youth

Homeschoolers Don’t Miss Your Chance!

Hello State-wide Families!

Are you looking for a fabulous program to use your homeschool curriculum allotment for? Start your school year with a truly out-of-this-world experience for your child. Challenger’s award-winning “From Alaska to Bermuda” program is just that! Spots are still open but time is running out to register for this unique opportunity for your sixth – eighth-grader.  The week of August 16th, students entering 6-8th grade from Alaska, will virtually join Middle School students from Bermuda, to explore the latest NASA drive to establish a permanent, manned research station on the Moon, and to expand mankind’s presence to Mars and beyond! Guest speakers from NASA’s Neutral Buoyancy Lab and HERO will also make appearances throughout the week! There are only 8 spots available for Alaskan students, so make sure yours is one of them! August 9th at Noon registration closes!

Since this program is such a unique, and special opportunity, registrations need to be accompanied by a video submission from the interested student, or a short letter. More information and registration can be found at www.akchallenger.org/camps under the AK & Bermuda Program Tab.  
Return to the Moon, Mars, and Beyond
August 16 – 20 
6th-8th Graders
4 hours a day, 8am – 12pm (AST)
Bermuda 1pm – 5pm
http://www.akchallener.org/camps 


If you have any questions don’t hesitate to call or email! 907-283-2000 laura.mese@akchallenger.org
Challenger Learning Center of Alaska

This program is continually developing for the future, with a cultural exchange aspect that integrates Alaska and Bermuda students. The collaboration would not only allow students an opportunity to build on each other ideas but to share cultural and environmental experiences. Projects will entail revealing and solving challenges within colonizing other planets and continued deep-space exploration. All materials needed to make the assignments will be provided.

Summer Camps!

2021 Summer Academies

Three more weeks to Register!

Three age groups, completing a week of captivating, interactive subjects that will keep campers entertained while practicing real-world STEM solutions. Bring your children to Challenger this summer for days packed with enriching, active, activities, leaving them happy and tired when they go home! 🦾 Time is running out, Learn more & Register Now

June 14-18 2021 (Day Camp Only)
3rd-4th Grade Material Science: Build, Bust, and Burn Academy Study materials by building, busting, and making things go BOOM!

$325 June 21-25 2021 (Day Camp Only)
5th-6th Grade Forensic Science: CSI Academy Unravel the mysteries of crime scene investigation! 

$400 June 29-July 1 2021 (Day Camp Only)
K- 2nd Grade Space Academy Explore what the future of space colonization might encompass.
$200

Register Here

For more information visit http://www.akchallenger.org/camps

Contact: 
Laura Mese, Administrative Assistant
laura.mese@akchallenger.org 
907.283.2000

Earth Day Challenges

Happy Earth Day!

Today we celebrate our Earth and think about what we can do to make it more sustainable. Living in Alaska we have a lot of land and natural resources available to us to ski, hike, fish, boat, camp, hunt…but having so much at our disposal means we need to do more to keep it like that. Start today doing one small thing that will impact our world, even if that means making a recycled craft with your child, or pick up one piece of litter that has been revealed by the melting snow.

Challenger focuses our education in S.T.E.M. (science, technology, engineering, and math). STEM isn’t just about these fields of study though. The model of teaching STEM incorporates hands-on learning, building confidence, and the connection in how we can better our world. Here are some fun ways of explaining and teaching Earth Day to your kids!

women s black leather jacket
Photo by Zachary DeBottis on Pexels.com

Make recycled Egg Shell Gardens and watch grass grow.

Learn about biomes and Build a Desert Biome!

Learn about Global Warming with Earth Day Toast.

Try the Carbon Footprint Activity and learn how much damage we do to the ecosystem!

Learn about Animal Habitats and find out how animals adapt to changes in the world.

Make a Water Cycle in a Bag to learn about the water cycle.

Earth Day Seed Planters are a popular STEM activity for Earth Day!

Make a Terrarium in a Jar and create your own ecosystem.

Make a Model Waterworks and learn how water is filtered.

Melt Crayons with Solar Energy and see how heat can be used as energy!

Create Your Own Mini Landfill!

Try the Earth Day Robot Design Challenge and build a robot who recycles for you.

Try the Exploring Solar Heat experiment.

Play this simple Sort the Recycling Game.

These Water Pollution Activities are perfect for elementary kids.

Learn how you can make a difference in the planet with science, technology, engineering, and math activities with these STEM activities for Earth Day!

DIVE IN AND HAVE FUN!

Enroll Virtual Missions

5 MORE DAYS TO SIGN UP FOR VIRTUAL MISSION OPEN ENROLLMENT

Been waiting to sign your child up for a Challenger simulated mission? We now offer two new missions that are 100% virtual! This is the last call to sign up for these open enrollments!
Registration for Destination Mars and Destination Moon virtual simulated missions will close on April 12th- don’t miss your chance to join in on the excitement!

Students are challenged throughout the program, with realistic mission control assignments they must complete with their virtual team members to assess things like what is the safest location for launch or to determine the best location to land a rover. Using real-life scenarios and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) skills, combined with being on a graphic and responsive simulation program, the virtual missions create an inviting environment for students to gain confidence and interest in STEM topics. Register now at http://www.akchallenger.org/individualstudents and click on the Virtual Programs tab. We are excited to be able to reach more students around Alaska that have not had a chance to come to Kenai for programming.


Both virtual missions are simulated stories, administered online, in real-time by a Challenger Flight Director. These programs feature group collaboration while allowing the students to log in from anywhere.

Destination Mars is for grades 3rd – 6th, April 15th, 1 hour from 9:30 am -10:30 am, via an online program portal. 
Destination Moon is for grades 7th – 8th, April 14th, 2 hours from 9:30 am – 11:30 pm, via an online program portal.
The cost is $50 for Destination Mars and $100 for Destination Moon plus material shipping. We can also direct bill your homeschool vendor.

See you soon!
Challenger Learning Center of Alaska

Women’s History Month & Challenger

Women’s History Month & Challenger

Since 1980, communities and organizations around the United States have celebrated Women’s History Month every March. The celebration recognizes women’s achievements and contributions to American history. At Challenger Center, the legacies of the two female Challenger crew members, Judith Resnik and Christa McAuliffe, motivate us every day to inspire the next generation of innovators and leaders through exciting STEM programs. Both Resnik and McAuliffe played integral parts in America’s space exploration and educational history and continue to hold a special place in Americans hearts. Learn more about them here.

Christa McAuliffe was to be the first teacher in space and had planned several lessons to do while aboard the Challenger STS. In the aftermath of the Challenger accident, the crew’s families came together, firmly committed to the belief that they must carry on the spirit of their loved ones by continuing the Challenger crew’s educational mission. Their efforts resulted in the creation of Challenger Center for Space Science Education.

CLCA was created to meet the educational needs of students throughout Alaska. Using simulated space and earth science missions, distance education and hands-on workshops, CLCA inspires youth to develop an interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), and to consider careers in these fields.  Through a variety of hands on mediums, participants work in an environment that spans academic areas while learning valuable skills in problem solving, communication, and teamwork.

We value and look up to all the women working to impact the fields of education and STEM. It is an honor to continue spreading inspiration in students to keep their mission alive.

Mars Significance

Mars Significance

February 18th the world was watching the rover, Perseverance land on Mars. There were nerves, excitement, and hope. Perseverance is the fifth rover to reach the surface of Mars though, so why is it so important? Why is everyone so excited? What is the significance of THIS rover?

Our team at Challenger Learning Center of Alaska sees this as an opportunity to make our world better. Perseverance will change the way we look at science, life, past life, and the Earth. The magnitude of new technology and the number of features included in this one rover is unbelievable.

In one mission we will be able to test a brand new technique in flying with the Mars helicopter, receive footage of the landing that we have never been able to witness before, test astronaut suit materials in the Mars atmosphere, test, take and store samples to later retrieve that will analyze signs of past life and resources similar to Earth’s, record sounds of natural events happening on the surface, and test a technology that could create oxygen from Mars’ CO2 atmosphere, to say the least!

All of this, to us, means if we can identify the resources for humans to survive on Mars, then we can discover how Mars reached the condition it is in now. We can learn how to revive Mars, how to grow a plant on Mars, and how to create oxygen on Mars. If we can do all this on a planet like Mars, can you imagine what we could do with that technology to save our home, Earth?

How is this mission significant to you? How did you feel watching Perseverance land on Mars? Join the conversation and leave a comment below to let us know!

#goperseverance

Perseverance Count Down!

Perseverance Count Down!

We are nine days away from the landing of Perseverance on Mars, the rover that was launched in 2020, seven months ago.

SO, what do you need to know for the live viewing?

This rover is not the first on mars but is the first of its kind. It will continue to conduct robotic field geology searching for signs of past life, as did its predecessors, but will also focus on tests that may determine the possibility for future human life. This new technology, called Moxie, tests the cabalilties of extracting oxygen from the CO2 atmosphere. Perseverance also carries a pair of microphones, which will provide historic audio of Martian sounds, such as arrival, landing, wind, and other ambient noise.

These studies help test ways to use Mar’s natural resources to support human explorers and improve designs for life support, transportation, and other systems for living and working on Mars.

Another unique feature on Perseverance is the terrain relative navigation. This new landing technique allows the rover to determine where it is landing and avoid hazardous terrain. To assist in landing it also has an extra feature called range trigger. It allows the parachute to open at the exact range necessary to accurately land the desired landing spot.

Additional new functions:

-Sample collection and caching system, allows 20 samples to be collected for future retrieval and testing on Earth.

-The Mars Helicopter, if successful will be the first flying device on Mars. (This guy is VERY cool!)

-Rimfax, ground penitrating radar

-23 cameras

-Bringing Spacesuit materials for testing

Perseverance is loaded with advanced tools that are well worth extra research. This is one impressive, exciting rover! https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/

To prepare here is a list of fun activities you and your family can do:

  • Get Your Landing Resources
    Posters, stickers, fact sheets, mission patches and more.
  • Ways To Participate
    Try the Photo Booth, Send Your Name on the next mission to Mars, and check out other interactive experiences.
  • Watch Online
    Our quick guide to the TV programs coming up you can watch online.
  • Mission to Mars Student Challenge
    Get Mars-related webcasts for learners of all ages, along with lessons and activities for students.
  • Register for a Virtual Landing Event 
    Get notifications about landing opportunities, programming, and other mission information, plus a landing stamp for your virtual passport.
  • Virtual NASA Social 
    Connect online with other space enthusiasts, ask questions and get answers from NASA experts. Get a special badge to share online or print at home.

On Landing Day, Feb. 18, 2021:

After Landing:

  • Explore Mars with Perseverance
    As the rover begins its mission at Jezero Crater, visit the mission website for the latest news and images every day.

Pumpkin Volcano

PUMPKIN VOLCANO

Are you getting ready to carve pumpkins with your kids like you do year after year? Bring a new twist to pumpkin carving this time by adding STEM! This is such an easy and instantly rewarding activity. Your kids will be delighted by the exploding foam escaping out of their pumpkin’s face, as well as the fun to touch texture of baking soda, vinegar and soap.

To get started:

SUPPLIES

  • Pumpkin
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Liquid dish soap
  • Cookie sheet or large flat container (optional to contain the pumpkin and fizz from the chemical reaction)

DIRECTIONS

1. Ahead of time, cut the top off the pumpkin and clean the inside of the pumpkin out like you would do when preparing to carve a pumpkin.

2. Carve any type of pumpkin face out of one side of the pumpkin.

3. Gather all your supplies and place them nearby.

4. Drop a heaping amount of baking soda into the pumpkin. We didn’t really measure the ingredients, but added about a cup of baking soda to our medium sized pumpkin.

5. Add dish soap to the baking soda. Again we did not measure. Have the kids squeeze a good amount into the pumpkin.

6. When ready,  Pour vinegar into the pumpkin until the mixture begins to react, and place the pumpkin top back on.

You can wash out the pumpkin and redo it as many times as you want. For an extra spooky look, add some food coloring!

HAVE FUN!