It was the largest attendance at a Challenger Learning Center of Alaska (CLCA) event since it opened its’ doors over 15 years ago, according to Summer Lazenby, CLCA director of educational operations. Lazenby had a busy night as the certified Moon Rock handler at the legacy of learning celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the Challenger Shuttle disaster. The authentic Moon Rocks from the Apollo missions fascinated hundreds of kids and adults of all ages and Summer was there to answer all their questions. “Nothing thrills us more than seeing the wonderment on the faces of young and old as they come to the Center to experience science and today’s event focused on all things Lunar,” said CLCA, CEO Marnie Olcott. The CLCA Lunar Event, “The Mission Continues:” was an internationally coordinated event, “Our national network of Challenger Centers did a great job of coordinating this anniversary globally and highlighting the legacy of STEM education that takes place at the centers here and in other countries,” explained Olcott. The evening was also a debut for the all new CLCA Lunar Quest mission, “This new mission is generously sponsored by Tesoro and is the newest platform of the mission simulations that we have. We’ve been through three different generations of missions to date and this mission being a simulation three and with that we now have our Earth Mission and our Lunar Quest and soon to come are upgrades to our Mars and Comet missions,” said Olcott.
In addition to the Moon Rocks and the new Lunar Quest space mission there were other exciting interactive stations where kids learned about moon phases with Oreo cookies and lunar mining that demonstrated core sampling as well as the Impact Craters lab that had kids learn while getting messy, “We take great pride in our ability to be able to impart excitement and inquiry into young minds and be able to spark enthusiasm for science that will hopefully put them on a track where they will continue to learn about science, technology, engineering and math or what we call STEM,” added Olcott.
The star lab was also a popular attraction as families waited to crawl into the planetarium with their kids to view the show. “It’s our portable star lab that we have here on site at the CLCA and we are also able to take it to locations and venues such as your school or community event. There are several different options to view so you are able to see star constellations, phases of the moon and all kinds of amazing things that have to do with our universe,” said Olcott. To learn more about the dynamic opportunities for STEM learning, team building, unique educational gifts and even Coldwater Survival Egress Training contact CLCA at 907-283-2000, stop in for a tour of the facility or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org and check out their website at www.akchallenger.org.