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

Challenger Learning Center Reaches Out to Dutch School

Thu Mar 25 2010

The Challenger Learning Center® has expanded its international reach once again, this time going Dutch, so to speak.

Today assistant director Kathleen Frank conducted the Challenger Learning Center's first e-Mission™ to the Netherlands. Frank connected via videoconference in Wheeling with the Haagsche Schoolvereeniging (HSV), an international school in The Hague. HSV is one of the main providers of primary school education for international and Dutch children in The Hague. Two classes of 30 students each in grades 3-5 each took part in Moon, Mars, and Beyond, in which they help NASA rescue a ship lost in the outer planets.

"The missions were very successful," said Frank. "The students, who are a mix of Dutch and international students, called their rescue teams 'Holland's Heroes.' And the students' English was impeccable."

Today's missions came about as a teacher at the school searched the Internet for resources to help her teach a unit called Mission to Mars. She contacted the Challenger Learning Center about Moon, Mars, and Beyond and eventually finalized today's e-Mission.

Also observing the mission was Roland Taams, who operates the Holland Space Center in The Hague. His organization is based on the same concept as the Challenger Learning Center. It offers students programs to spur their interest in space and astronomy while building their skills in science, technology, and mathematics. The Holland Space Center works with the European Space Agency as well in promoting space science.

The connection to the Netherlands marks 14 countries now to which the Challenger Learning Center has expanded its missions. In the past year alone Challenger has connected with schools for the first time in Argentina, South Africa, Kyrgzstan, Pakistan, the Republic of Georgia, India, and Northern Ireland.

The Challenger Learning Center is one of 47 centers worldwide established by the Challenger Center for Space Science in memory of the space shuttle Challenger. More than 40,000 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 all the centers. In 2009 the e-Missions program made more than 1,000 video connections to classrooms around the world.