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

Distance Learning Missions Score Award for Challenger Center

Wed Jun 10 2009

The Challenger Learning Center ® at the Center for Educational Technologies® has won a prestigious award voted on by an international group of teachers.

The Challenger Learning Center earned a 2009 Teachers' Choice Award from Berrien RESA, an education service agency serving 29,000 students in Berrien County, MI. Although a regional educational agency hosted the competition, 460 teachers from all across the United States, Canada, and Singapore cast votes for the awards. The Berrien RESA's comprehensive database of videoconference content providers started in 2000, went national in 2002, and has been sponsored by leading videoconference equipment provider Polycom since 2003. The Teachers' Choice Awards debuted in 2006.

Challenger was recognized in the Best Science Museums and Organizations category for its e-Missions™ program. Also earning Teachers' Choice Awards in that category was the COSI science museum in Columbus, OH, and the NASA Digital Learning Network.

e-Missions™ are distance learning videoconferences in which students connect with a flight director at the Challenger Learning Center and use their math and science skills to work their way through a scenario fraught with crises. In 2008 the e-Missions program made more than 1,000 video connections to classrooms around the world.

"The Challenger Learning Center is excited and honored to have our program recognized by Berrien RESA," said Lori Kudlak, lead flight director of the e-Missions program. "Our e-Mission program is a unique resource for teachers allowing the integration of technology into the classroom. Being recognized by teachers is the highest honor we could hope for."

The Wheeling Challenger Learning Center offers the following e-Missions:
  • Operation Montserrat—participants must prepare the Caribbean island of Montserrat for an approaching hurricane as a volcano erupts.
  • Moon, Mars, and Beyond—students in grades 3-5 help NASA rescue a ship lost in the outer planets.
  • Space Station Alpha—students in grades 5-12 help protect astronauts aboard the International Space Station from a large solar flare.
  • STORM-E—participants in grades 4-6 predict whether an outdoor air show or the New Year's Eve celebration in New York's Times Square should be postponed because of approaching severe weather.
  • Target Moon—students in grades 6-8 track a comet approaching the Moon and determine which lunar settlements should be evacuated.
  • Satellite Rescue—students in grades 6-8 monitor the health and safety of a space shuttle crew attempting to repair a malfunctioning satellite.
  • M.A.R.S.—participants in grades 6-8 use their math and science skills to determine the best place to build the first settlement on Mars.
  • F.S.I.—students in grades 6-8 respond to a fire in a storage unit on a lunar base in the year 2037.

The complete list of Teachers Choice Awards can be found online.