Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why should we attend the Challenger Learning Center?

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    The Challenger Center gives your students an opportunity to use Math, Science, and Technology in an authentic learning environment. Our state-of-the-art facility makes science and math fun and inspirational for youngsters by giving them a chance to explore careers related to Math, Science, and Technology. Every student can be successful at Challenger—it is terrific for building self-esteem and confidence. Students work cooperatively to solve problems and tasks which are based on the New York State Assessments in Science. By tying into current events and using the newest educational technology, Challenger strives to have a positive impact on student learning.

     

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  • What is the age level?

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    Challenger typically runs 5th and 6th grade classes, because of reading level.

     

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  • Do I need to attend Teacher Training?

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    All teachers who have never flown a mission should attend our Teacher Orientation night. At the orientation, we will give you a Teacher’s Manual, walk through some suggested training activities, and demonstrate how the simulation will work for your students.

    We highly recommend that if you have not attended an orientation in recent years that you come in for a refresher. It’s an opportunity for you to go through each station and see some of the changes and updates that we’ve recently made.

    If travel to the Challenger Center for Teacher Orientation is problematic, please contact us about distance learning opportunities.

     

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  • Are there any changes to the Teacher Manual I should know of?

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    The Teacher Manual is changed and updated frequently to meet the needs of our students and teachers. Any changes to the Manual are posted on this website. Simply go to this link for Teacher Manual and you can download the latest version.

     

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  • How do I schedule missions?

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    Give us a call at 585-383-2290. We will be happy to book as many flights as you like. If there are no openings that meet your needs, ask us about opportunities for after school missions.

     

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  • If we come for the day can we eat somewhere?

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    Yes, but reservations must be made. Please contact us for details at 585-473-7490.

     

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  • Are there any package deals with the Museum and Planetarium?

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    Yes! We currently offer a Challenger/RMSC combo package. Contact Steve Orcutt at 585-249-7890 or steven_orcutt@boces.monroe.edu for more information.

     

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  • Is it the same mission every time?

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    Not necessarily! Now Challenger can flex to fit your curriculum even more! Our latest technology upgrade allows us almost unlimited flexibility in the ending of the mission. If you can think up a 5–10 minute activity or problem-solving task you’d like to see your students tackle, we’ll write it into our scenario—customized just for you! For example, instead of testing circuits to save the Spirit 1 astronauts, your students could team up and test acid and base solutions for pH! The possibilities are limitless!

     

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  • How many students can I bring to the Challenger?

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    The mission works best for class sizes of 28 or under. Maximum number of students is 30.

     

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  • Where do we pull up with the bus?

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    Our entrance is around the back entrance of the Planetarium. Look for the sign that says Challenger Learning Center.

     

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  • How long is the entire stay at Challenger? (For busing)

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    Your visit at Challenger is 2 hours long. Depending on your distance from the Challenger Center, you will have to plan your busing accordingly.

     

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  • What about students with special needs?

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    We can accommodate everyone! Just phone ahead in advance of your mission to alert us of any special needs students. The spacecraft is wheelchair accessible. (A good station for wheelchair users is Navigation.) We also have Braille task cards for our Medical station. For other concerns, simply give us a call. 585-473-7490.

     

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  • Do you offer a summer camp?

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    Yes, we do! We offer full day sessions. For details, please see our Summer Camp page.

     

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  • We don’t study space science. Does this fit my curriculum?

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    Yes! The Space Science and Astronomy scenario is simply a context for practicing broader more universal science process skills! Challenger is more about teamwork, problem solving, using technology and following directions than any particular curricular area.

     

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  • How do I set up a videoconference with my students?

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    Our new Polycom technology opens up a new dimension in integrating Challenger and technology into your classroom curriculum. If your district subscribes to the Distance Learning program, we now offer a video conference with your students prior to the mission. Our Mission Commanders will introduce your students to their jobs, problem solve some pre-mission activities, and answer questions your students may have, all live from the Challenger Learning Center! Please see Schedule a Video Conference.

     

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Student at microphone