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Center for Educational Technologies projects have ended (except Challenger Learning Center) and are no longer funded.

Rome Students Connect to Challenger

Mon Jun 2 2008

No ocean is too wide to cross to introduce students to the excitement of an e-Mission™. This week students in Italy will experience one of the distance learning simulations originating at the Challenger Learning Center® at the Center for Educational Technologies®.

Middle school students at the Ambrit-Rome International School in Rome will take part in an e-Mission Tuesday and Wednesday. Flight directors from the Challenger Learning Center will hook up via videoconference with the Rome classrooms and lead the students through Operation Montserrat, one of several e-Missions offered through the center. All of them allow students to apply their math, science, and teamwork skills.

In Operation Montserrat students must decide how to save the residents of the small Caribbean island of Montserrat as a volcano erupts and a hurricane approaches. The two-hour scenario is based on an actual event that happened several years ago in Montserrat.

The students at the Ambrit-Rome International School are English-speaking students from a multicultural background. This is the second year the school has participated in an e-Mission.

"We're now reaching an international audience with our e-Missions," said Kathleen Frank, assistant director, e-Missions program. "We not only service the students of West Virginia and the United States, but we use our distance learning resources to reach audiences throughout the world."

The Challenger Learning Center conducts more than 800 e-Missions a year, and it has conducted international missions this year for Korean teachers, educators in Northern Ireland, and students in Canada. Another mission in Pakistan was postponed. Also, some of the e-Missions are available in Spanish.

Frank said e-Missions are open to anyone with videoconferencing ability and computers. The missions provide a unique window to the world as they enhance teamwork and critical thinking for all ages and diverse groups.