Robert Fredell, Ph.D.
President and CEO
Colorado Consortium for Earth & Space Science Education (CCESSE)
Non-Profit Educational Organization 501(c)(3)
Founded in 1986, Challenger Center is a STEM education organization created to honor the crew of shuttle flight STS-51L: Dick Scobee, Gregory Jarvis, Christa McAuliffe, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Judith Resnik, and Michael J. Smith. Challenger Center and its global network of Challenger Learning Centers use space-themed simulated learning and role-playing strategies to help students bring their classroom studies to life and cultivate skills needed for future success, such as problem solving, critical thinking, communication and teamwork.
Challenger Center is headquartered in Washington DC. Challenger Learning Centers, located in more than 40 communities around the globe, are independently operated organizations affiliated with Challenger Center. The Centers share long-term goals of national value and impact:
- Promoting enthusiasm for the sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) studies
- Improving knowledge and problem-solving skills
- Teaching participants to work in teams, use communication skills, and think critically
The Colorado Consortium for Earth and Space Science Education (CCESSE) established the Challenger Learning Center of Colorado (CLCC). Opening its doors in 2002, CLCC provides a first-class space-based learning environment where schoolchildren, families, senior citizens, corporate teams and other community members “fly” simulated space missions. CLCC features a Mission Control Center modeled after the one at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, a Space Transporter and a Spacecraft/Space Station simulator where experiments are performed and probes are assembled and “launched” into the depths of outer space.
These simulated “out-of-this-world” experiences allow K-12 student, public, adult, and corporate crews to apply and learn additional skills in mathematics, science, technology, language, reading, communication, geography and team-building.
Annually, Challenger Learning Center of Colorado serves about 20,000 eager learners from the Rocky Mountain Region, surrounding states and across the country.