|Challenger Learning Center of Alaska E-newsletter|
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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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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
Meeting ID: 824 5188 3773
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 email@example.com
The Zoom link will be shared Wednesday morning on our Facebook, @CLCAlaska
See you there!
James Webb Telescope Overview | NASA
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.
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!
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
-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:
- Tune in to Watch Live
The NASA TV broadcast from Mission Control starts at 11:15 a.m. PST/2:15 p.m. EST.
- 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.
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:
- Baking soda
- Liquid dish soap
- Cookie sheet or large flat container (optional to contain the pumpkin and fizz from the chemical reaction)
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!
Challenger Has New Programs
CLCA is offering Alaskan Teachers, the ever-growing Homeschool population and individual parents looking to enroll their child into additional hands-on, engaging science classes, the opportunity to schedule Virtual STEM programs!
For Individual Students at Home
Let us cover your home school science credits, or sign up your child just for extra fun activities! We are offering a new weekly theme every month! Classes are delivered via Zoom for 1 1/2 hours a day and materials are provided for hands on learning!
Homeschool STEM Ahead Days are also an option! Sign your K-8th grader up for one day or all, offered on Tuesdays. You can see the schedule of topics for each day, pricing and registration here -> STEAM Ahead
If you child still goes to school but you’d like them to come in for this program you may still sign them up!
Kindernauts is a once a week program for your K-2nd grader, Thursdays for 1 1/2 hours. They will be immersed in a variety of goopy, wonderous and wacky STEM activities! Pricing, more details and registration can be found here-> Kindernauts
Teachers looking for more in class options?
We have ELearning programs, like Classroom Adventures virtually taking your class on a one hour team adventure! Increase your students’ engagement in STEM subjects with an interactive team online adventure! Classroom Adventures takes the entire class on journeys to reach collective goals as they research, work together to answer questions, and collaborate to find solutions to urgent challenges. Choose from Aquatic Investigators, Dirt Decoders, or Nature Rangers! Call or email us to sign your class up. Licences are given to you to access these programs from your computers in your classroom! Contact Suzanne.firstname.lastname@example.org
You Are A Part Of CLCA and We Thank You!
Challenger Learning Center of Alaska, CLCA, is excited to share with you that we were the recipient of the Arthur C. Clarke Award for Innovation in Education, August 12th! As a nonprofit, our educational programs live on because of the support we receive from Alaskan communities. Assisting teachers, groups, and businesses fulfil their science curriculum, safety training or being here for team building retreats, is important to our mission. Community input, sponsorships and partners around Alaska is what makes our mission possible to achieve, therefore this award goes to all of you as well!
During the Challenger Center Annual Conference, Dr. Pelton recognized how important the student engagement and cultural exchange opportunity is that the Alaska meets Bermuda camp CLCA administered this summer, provides. Dr. Pelton also mentioned how exciting it was for him to see the virtual use of NASA’s equipment from the Artemis program, the Orion capsule, and the Natural Buoyancy Lab, being demonstrated to the students throughout the camp. Dr. Pelton himself has played an enormous role in the space and STEM industries.Programs CLCA has been serving Alaskans for 20 years, providing STEM workshops and camps, simulated space missions, and water and land survival courses.