The Challenger Learning Center, in partnership with the School City of East Chicago and the Northwest Indiana Educational Service Center, through a grant received from the Foundations of East Chicago are collaborating to promote science and literacy with Voyage to Mars. This collaboration intends to improve the ability of East Chicago 6th grade educators to teach, motivate and engage students in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields through problem-based learning modules that are technology based and integrate science and literacy among students for a voyage to Mars at Challenger. Challenger Learning Center uses science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education to engage visitors of all ages.


The completed program will include problem-based learning modules based on College and Career Readiness Standards. This will allow for teacher and students to access the eLearning modules independently and be self-directed. The value of this method of classroom instruction as an instructional resource is used by an increasing numbers of educators and students as the program has progressed since its inception into East Chicago public schools. Ultimately, local educators are being given resources for new ways of teaching and connecting science and literacy in the classroom, improving results for their students as they work to meet state standards.


The Challenger Learning Center of Northwest Indiana opened its doors in 1999 on the Purdue Calumet Campus through the hard work and dedication of its founding director Lisa Austgen. The Challenger Learning Center of Northwest Indiana provides programs for preschool students to adults.  All of its programs integrate the excitement of space exploration with the fun of educational simulations. Its education programs are all standards based and formulated by experts and teachers who understand the importance of promoting 21st Century Learning Skills and preparing children for their future.


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