Challenger Outreach

Education in STEM, space, and workforce development is our main mission at the Challenger Learning Center of Alaska. We value our community and love sharing our passion with all ages! Throughout the year we look for opportunities to give back and share some of our programmings in our community. The best way to see upcoming events is to follow our Facebook page.
Food Security and Sustainability, Grow Your Own Workshop
May 7th, 2022 9:00am – 3:00pm
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
This program is sponsored by grant partners, NASA, Space Grant Alaska, and NISE Net Sustainable Futures Grant. “This material is based in part upon work supported by NASA through the Alaska Space Grant Program (80NSSC20M0070).”

 “This material is based upon work supported by NASA under cooperative agreement award numbers NNX16AC67A and 80NSSC18M0061. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).”


Star Party
April 9th, 2022 7:30pm – 10:30pm

Are you ready to have some fun underneath the stars?!
Stargaze through epic telescopes courtesy of Anchorage Museum, UAA Planetarium & Visualization Theater, and Challenger Learning Center, enjoy a warm beverage, engage in star activities, and talk with Astronomy professionals from the Southcentral Alaska Astronomical Society and NASA Solar System Ambassadors!
Mark your calendars! If you or your child is a sky enthusiast you do not want to miss this night!
RSVP is not needed to come. All ages are welcome and youth must be accompanied by an adult.
James WEBB Telescope Community Event
October 20, 2021 4pm – 6pm 

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! To really make your family experts for the launch, there will even be a virtual NASA specialist joining in to share insider information and answer your questions!

Dr. Vivian U, Professor of Astrophysics at the University of California, will join us via zoom at 5pm.

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

If you can not make it but want to see or participate in Vivian U’s presentation you can join via Zoom or YouTube live (Challenger Learning Center of Alaska James WEBB Telescope Presentation with Vivian U. – YouTube). The links will be shared Wednesday morning on social media.

Informative Links:  James Webb Telescope Overview | NASA

Educational Services we offer to the Community:

  • Monthly visits to the Kenai Youth Detention Center
  • Activities at the Soldotna Library
  • Volunteer STEM Workshops such as Paper Rockets, Paper Engineering, and Spaghetti Towers at community events like the Soldotna Winter Games and Kenai River Fest.
  • Free community events at the Challenger like our Nano Days, Star parties, and The Mission Continues: A Lunar Event!
  • Team building and simulated space missions with teams like the USA Women’s Olympic Rugby team and The Kenai River Brown Bears.
  • And so much more!
We can customize our programs for anyone in the community!
Call to discuss what you are looking for.  Ask us about creating a custom camp, event, retreat, mission, or workshop!

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Check our events calendar for upcoming open enrollment programs or for free public outreach:

The Challenger Learning Center of Alaska offer students the next best thing to actual space flight with a Mission Control room designed after NASA Johnson Space Center and an orbiting space station. The Missions’ Commander and Flight Director direct our mission specialists in the orientation room where they are given an overview of the mission as well as their crew assignments.  A minimum of 14 and up to 32 people, will be divided between Mission Control and the Space Craft.  Following mid-brief, crew members will switch so each student experiences both Mission Control and the Space Craft.


Expedition Mars

The year is 2076. Humans have solved some of the larger problems associated with a long-term Mars mission, including radiation exposure and landing large payloads safely on the surface.  A handful of facilities have been established on the Martian surface including a Greenhouse, a mobile geo survey base, and a centralized research habitat.  The primary human habitat within the Mars system is not on Mars itself but located approximately 9376 km away on its moon, Phobos.  This tiny moon provides an excellent location for a permanent base to continue studying Mars.

A large shuttle regularly ferries astronauts and scientists between the base on Phobos and the surface of Mars.  This shuttle, or Mars Transport Vehicle (MTV), serves as the spacecraft for the mission.  The MTV carries parts to build a ROV for hydrological exploration and it also carries one unmanned drone aircraft which can carry the ROV to a survey destination. However, when crew members discover a threat to their MTV base, they must act quickly to save their crew and their station.

The two groups will have to work together to accomplish their mission goals: to search for evidence of life on Mars, whether fossil or living, to search for evidence of water, and to keep everyone safe. Using teamwork and creative problem solving, the crew will be able to continue their research on our neighbor planet.

Lunar Quest 

Two teams set out for the moon to help with the expansion of Moonbase Alpha. Together they must navigate through space, to the moon and choose a suitable location for mining resources needed for the expansion of lunar research. However, scouting locations is dangerous and the choices the crews will need to make impact not only the success of their mission, but also the health and safety of each other.

Earth Odyssey

A recent coronal mass ejection has destroyed a vital space satellite responsible for gathering key Earth science information. Working together, the team at Mission Control and another aboard the Space Station, must build a new micro satellite to replace the one lost.  However, traveling into orbit during this time of increased solar activity poses risks of its own.

Throwing a Birthday Party, or planning a special event?

Need a space for your business meeting, training, or holiday party?

You can rent our facility spaces too, including a full commercial kitchen, and dorm rentals!


Learn More about HOW Challenger started, WHAT we stand for and WHO we are at the Challenger Learning Center of Alaska!