Students try out new program at the Challenger Learning Center

Digital Originals

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — Students at Heartland Community College’s Challenger Learning Center took a walk on Mars on Monday.

Now they didn’t actually go to mars, but about as close as you can get. The CLC recently received a donation from share-space education that has allowed them to add multiple new programs.

“What’s really great about this donation is it gives the students a chance, as you can see them in the background a really great visual of the map and all the different geographical things about mars and they get to really see it hands-on and walk across it,” said Associate Director of the Challenger Learning Center, Jo Kitchens.

The donation includes a large map of mars, access to in-person and online training and new curriculum packages.

“Our students were running these rovers along the map and interpreting the data to find out what mineral deposits were found on mars,” said Commander Libby who is the Flight Director of the Challenger Learning Center.

The learning center is just one of four centers internationally to receive the education packages. Students enjoyed the hands-on activities

“Instead of sitting in a classroom just physically hearing about it, but physically doing it is pretty cool,” said seventh-grader Faith Eckhardt.

“I could talk about science at them all day and they would not remember it the same way as if they were experiencing it themselves,” said Libby. “They got to become the rover tools, become the engineers and drive the rovers. Stuff sticks with you when you’re actually doing it better than when you see it or hear it.”

Kitchens is excited about where they can take this program in the future.

“We’re not just gonna use this for one thing we’re gonna find multiple ways to be able to share this with multiple age groups and a variety of different programs and I think that’s what had us stand out,” said Kitchens.

If you are interested in checking out the program, the center offers spring and summer programs. Click here to find out more information.

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