Food Security & Sustainability Free Workshop

Challenger Learning Center of Alaska E-newsletter
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You’re Invited!
New Community Program

Join Challenger Learning Center as we learn from local experts in home gardening
for food sustainability.
This workshop will be the first of its series, introducing and
exploring seeds and seed saving, soil building and composting,
growing methods, and crop selection,
as well as a hands-on element similar to all of Challenger’s programs.
Participants will be able to “get their hands dirty” and
take something home to start them out on the right foot.
If you have been growing for years or want to get started but
need some guidance to sort through all the possibilities,
this is a great workshop for you! May 7th get your gardening fix,
recharge your skills, or learn something new!

Registration is free for the 9 am – 3 pm Workshop and lunch will be provided.
If you want to attend the grow bucket session afterward there is a $20 fee.

When: Saturday, May 7th, 2022
Time: 9am – 3pm Free
What: Learn and engage in an activity about the fundamentals and
options on how to start growing your own food from local gardening experts. Lunch included. 
Add-on: 3pm – 4:30pm $20, Make and take home a grow bucket
Who: Open to the Public

Sign Up Here
Hiring Positions at

Three Homeschool Mini Camps!

Three Homeschool Mini Camps!

Are you looking for exciting and educationally engaging ways to fulfill your homeschool science, technology, math, or even language arts credits for your kids? Take a look at the Homeschool Mini Camp in February to cover 10 hours! You can also use your homeschool allotment to pay for Challenger programs!

1 – 4 Graders Animals, Rockets, & Stars, OH MY!
$45/day or $200/week
Mon: Animal Adaptations
Tues: Simple Machines
Wed: Our Solar System
Thurs: Astronomy
Fri: Rocketry

5 – 8 Graders Adventures in Robotics
Dive into the world of robotics, using draw and block systems to engineer and code robots and accomplish a variety of tasks building on their capabilities in
STEM industries. Reinforces math, language arts, and science concepts. We even have fun new Sphero Bolts!

9 – 12 Graders Survival Sciences
Fun in Alaska can come at a cost. Be prepared to succeed in a survival situation! Introduction to survival basics including navigation, avalanche safety, land and water survival, the science behind fire, and building personal survival kits.

More information contact us at 907-283-2000 or email

Homeschool Meet & Greet

November 10th
Homeschool Meet & Greet at Challenger

When: November 10, 2021
Where: Challenger Learning Center of Alaska, CLCA (9711 Kenai Spur Highway, Kenai, AK 99611)
Time: 11 am – 1 pm
Who: All homeschool families with all ages of students, Parents must attend this event  

Challenger Learning Center of Alaska invites ALL homeschool families, with or without a homeschool affiliation, to a Homeschool Meet and Greet! Families will have the opportunity to network with other homeschool families, share ideas, and swap stories. Pizza will be provided for lunch, sponsored by Connections Homeschool Program. There will also be STEM activities for your children to explore while you learn how you can supplement your curriculum with Challenger programs. Get the first announcements for upcoming homeschool programs, take a tour, and see firsthand what CLCA can do for you.
RSVP’s are appreciated but not required.

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

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
The Zoom link will be shared Wednesday morning on our Facebook, @CLCAlaska

See you there!

Informative Links:
James Webb Telescope Overview | NASA

Geo-Challenge Sept. 18 2021

The Amazing Geo-Challenge on the Kenai is Back!


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 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



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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 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 

If you have any questions don’t hesitate to call or email! 907-283-2000
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.

Register Here

For more information visit

Laura Mese, Administrative Assistant 

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!

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Photo by Zachary DeBottis on

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!


Enroll Virtual Missions


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 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.