Steam Ahead Registration Open

Registration Open

CLCA’s STEAM Ahead program is created exclusively for home learners as an in-center program. Students learn facts and methods of thinking that can be applied to solve real-world problems. STEM creates critical thinking, bridges the gender gap in leadership roles, increases science literacy, and enables the next generations of innovators.
Our Fall semester will start on October 5th, one day a week for six sessions. Each session will build onto the curriculum that will reveal more intricate science concepts as students learn.
 
“From the Big to the Little: How Are We Connected?”
Dates: 6 weeks, Wednesdays 
(Oct 5, Oct 12, Oct 19, Oct 26, Nov 2, Nov 9)
Time: 10am – 12:30pm
$295 for the whole semester
 
 
 
 
📌Please Note
We have a new online booking system to create a smoother process for our customers. You can create a profile that will easily store your family’s information for faster booking next time! This system also allows us to check your child in and out virtually, with access to your approved pickup contacts, additional forms, and medical information. We are a direct pay vendor for most homeschools. If you choose this method, it is important you fill out your homeschool’s VDP form and get it to your representative right away for approval. If you have questions please give us a call or email our admin at cooper.kelley@akchallenger.org
Fall 2022   1st – 2nd 
Week 1 5-Oct Solar System Explorations
Week 2 12-Oct Climate Change & Alaska
Week 3 19-Oct Aeronautics & Weather
Week 4 26-Oct Thermal Engineering Matters
Week 5 2-Nov Electrical Circuits are a SNAP
Week 6 9-Nov Microscope Investigations

*Topics are subject to change

Fall 2022   3rd – 5th  
Week 1 5-Oct Climate Change & Alaska  
Week 2 12-Oct Aeronautics & Weather  
Week 3 19-Oct Aquatic Investigations  
Week 4 26-Oct Electrical Circuits are a SNAP  
Week 5 2-Nov Thermal Engineering Matters  
Week 6 9-Nov Solar System Explorations  

CLCA Joins NASA in Nationwide Celebration of WEBB Telescope First Images

CHALLENGER LEARNING CENTER OF ALASKA JOINS NASA IN NATIONWIDE CELEBRATION OF WEBB SPACE TELESCOPE FIRST SCIENCE IMAGES

KENAI — Challenger Learning Center of Alaska (CLCA) has joined hundreds of sites across the country to celebrate the release of the first science images from the James Webb Space Telescope, NASA’s next great space science observatory. CLCA will offer a range of 3D, hands-on activities and exhibits in a free public event to bring the excitement of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) to youth and adults of all ages.

“We are thrilled that Challenger Learning Center of Alaska is an official host site for NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope community events celebrating Webb’s first stunning images”, said Colette Gilmour, Operations and Communications Director. “We have partnered with Boys and Girls Club of Kenai Peninsula Teen Center to help our community celebrate this amazing feat of science and engineering. A model the B&G teens built will be on display during the event. People of all ages and backgrounds will find inspiration in Webb’s new view of the cosmos, which will fundamentally change our understanding of the universe for this generation and many to come”.

Webb is the largest and most complex space science telescope ever built – the premier observatory of the next decade. This international mission, led by NASA in partnership with the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency, launched Dec. 25, 2021. After unfolding in space into its final form, Webb successfully arrived at its destination nearly 1 million miles from Earth and began preparing for science operations.

The observatory, which is designed to see the universe in the infrared, will push the field of astronomy into a new era. Webb will be able to study light from distant parts of the universe for the very first time – the first galaxies that formed over 13.5 billion years ago – and give us insight into how our universe formed. It will also peer into dusty stellar nurseries to explore distant worlds orbiting other stars, as well as observe objects in our own solar system. Webb will extend the scientific discoveries of other NASA missions like the Hubble Space Telescope, Chandra X-ray Observatory, and Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite.

Challenger’s James Webb Community Event, September 9th, 2022 will explore the wonders of these remarkable new images and answer your questions on how different light is captured, how telescopes and James Webb works and are made. For a full schedule of events, visit www.akchallenger.org/communityor contact CLCA at 907-283-2000.

Challenger Learning Center of Alaska is located at 9711 Kenai Spur Highway, Kenai, AK. Our community event will be free and open to the public during 2:30pm – 4:30pm. This event will be in person, holding a live broadcast with a NASA Webb Scientist Panel talk at 3pm. To learn more about the Webb telescope, visit webb.nasa.gov and webbtelescope.org.

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
STAY CONNECTED
Hiring Positions at
akchallenger.org/join

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
$200/week
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
$250/week
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 laura.mese@akchallenger.org

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 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

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!