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

Wheeling Reservists, Families Set for Holiday Mission at Challenger

Thu Dec 3 2009

Members of the 305th Military Police Company of the U.S. Army Reserve in Wheeling and their families will celebrate the holidays by heading into space. Well, sort of.

The Reserve members and their families will fly a simulated space mission at the Challenger Learning Center® Saturday from 12:30 to 4 p.m. About 40 members of the company and their families are expected to take part in the mission, which will follow a holiday lunch and a meeting earlier in the morning.

Participants in a Challenger on-site mission get a taste of what it's like to work in a space station and mission control. More than 25,000 students fly missions each year either at the Wheeling facility or through distance learning. The Challenger Learning Center has been honored nine years for having served the most children of the 47 centers located worldwide.

Two parts make up the Challenger Learning Center: a space station that gives students the simulated experience of working in space, and a mission control that is modeled after NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston.

During a two-hour mission participants serve on one of eight teams in mission control or on the space station. Merging the power of imagination with the excitement of discovery, students became engineers and scientists as they simulate a space mission.

In addition to on-site missions, the Challenger Learning Center offers e-Missions™, which are distance learning videoconferences in which students connect with a flight director at the 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.