Groundbreaking celebrates Challenger Center expansion
Left to right: Carolyn Rice, Harris Foundation; Dr. Mary Tanner, Dean of
Health, Education, and Professional Studies; Dr. June Scobee Rodgers,
Founding Chair; U.S. Congressman Zach Wamp, Dr. Roger Brown,
Chancellor; and Tom Patty, UTC Challenger Center director.
Chancellor Roger Brown and Congressman Zach Wamp, U.S. House of Representatives, broke ground on an $850,000 expansion of the UTC Challenger Center. The additional 3,500 square feet will accommodate a technology lab, a science lab, and a general use classroom.
Funding for the new learning facilities has been provided by a combination of federal support and private gifts, including the Clarence Harris Foundation and the Hardwick Caldwell Foundation.
The tragedy of the Challenger space shuttle stands as a defining moment for a generation, but rather than focus on their sadness, the families of the Challenger crew conceived a most generous and exciting experience to continue the shuttle’s educational mission. Through their dedication and the creativity of Challenger staff members around the world, young people can rendezvous with a comet, voyage to Mars, or be transported to points through our Solar System.
UTC Challenger Learning Center is a leader in program innovation. While the Challenger Center has focused on educating middle school students, UTC has developed a program for kindergarten through fourth graders which has now been accepted for national distribution in Challenger Centers.
“Out of tragedy has come opportunity, and the University is proud to be a part of it,” said Roger Brown.
Development of programming for high school students is also under consideration at the UTC Challenger Center, a concept Congressman Wamp supports.
“When China graduates six times more engineers than the United States, we’re definitely going in the wrong direction,” Wamp said. “I am encouraged by the Challenger Center and what it does to inspire young people. If just one out of every 1,000 students who go through a Challenger Center decide to enter a field in math or science, then that helps keep America at the forefront of technology.”
December 2, 2005