Challenger Center Debuts the Discovery Station


The Challenger Center Micronaut program has downsized, sort of, but in a good way. 

Last year we experimented with conducting our Micronaut missions outside the space station simulator.  The simulator was created with middle school students in mind as the primary clientele.  As our Micronauts program continues to grow and attract larger numbers of elementary students, we noticed the Micronaut-age students (kindergarten through 5th grade) struggled with performing their tasks and experiments on equipment that is sized for taller, older kids. 

We liked the
concept of having an appropriately
scaled environment
for the Micronauts...

 Discovery station sign this year we
transformed a
temporary, yet
functional, space
into a permanent space lab
called Discovery Station

 Entrance to Discovery Station 

Discovery work station

 Although still a work in
progress, the lower, smaller
work stations have enabled
our younger students to
conduct scientific experiments with ease and success. 

 Micronaut Work station


Each work station
contains a different
experiment and the
students rotate through
each station to
complete tasks.

The other advantage of having a separate area for Micronauts means we can conduct simulatenous space missions and Micronaut programs, as we do with our home school clients. 

The addition of Discovery Station gives The Challenger Center greater flexibility to serve an expanding clientele.


 challenger logoOur Vision

The UTC Challenger STEM Learning Center is a member of the National Challenger Center Network that has 45 centers located in the United States, Great Britain, South Korea and Canada. The Challenger Centers were built as a living memorial for the crew of the Challenger Space Shuttle mission that ended in tragedy on January 28, 1986. Their mission was one of education with the first teacher “Christa McAuliffe” being a member of the crew. Today that education mission still lives in the Challenger Centers where students can explore hands-on science, technology, engineering and math programs.
 The UTC Challenger Center opened in 1994 and was the first center integrated with a University Campus. The center's educational opening was January 27, 1995 - right before the 9th anniversary of the Challenger Space Shuttle tragedy. It is formally aligned under the College of Education and has formed a strong relationship with the UTC Teachers Preparation Academy, the Hamilton County School System, and many other public and private educational entities. The Challenger programs serves approximately 8000 students and several hundred teachers each year in a service area that includes Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina, and South Carolina.
 Programs include simulated space missions that reinforce and introduce students to real-world applications of STEM principles, summer camps, teacher professional development workshops, and team building sessions for businesses and other organizations.


Hours of Operation:  Monday - Friday  8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. EST; Closed Sundays
Large groups must call 423-425-4126 to schedule a tour.
Special events can be scheduled on Saturdays, call for availability.


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If your school is closed or delayed and UTC is open, please call 423-425-2191 M-F 8:00 am-5:00 pm to reschedule.

If your school is open and UTC is closed or delayed, please call 423-425-2191 M-F 8:00 am-5:00 pm to reschedule.


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