January 28, 2011 will mark the 25th Anniversary of the Shuttle Challenger tragedy. To honor the Challenger crew and their families, the Challenger Learning Center-St. Louis will offer a variety of free programs, including missions to the public throughout the day, video conferences for teachers and students and launch the “Where Were You…Will You Wear Blue?” campaign.
The Center is providing space on its website for people to recount their memories of that tragic day, by submitting either written stories or video messages. To help teachers mark the anniversary in their classrooms, the site will also include links to the lesson plans Christa McAuliffe, who was to be the first civilian teacher in space, planned to teach from space. To commemorate the tragedy on January 28, people are encouraged to wear royal blue to honor the Challenger astronauts and their families.
“It is an honor to play a part in the 25th anniversary and pay tribute to the crew members of the Challenger shuttle,” said Tasmyn Scarl Front, Director of the Challenger Learning Center–St. Louis. “Every student who increases their interest in science and math because of their experience at the Challenger Learning Center is part of a living tribute to the Challenger crew and its mission."
On January 28, 1986, seven brave crew members boarded the space shuttle Challenger on a mission, in part, to advance science education. Shortly after liftoff, the mission came to a tragic halt when an o-ring on one of the booster rockets failed, causing the Shuttle Challenger to break apart just 73 seconds after launch. Stunned and grieving the loss of their loved ones, the families of the seven crew members gathered and decided not to allow the mission to end in failure.
To honor their loved ones and continue the educational spirit of the mission, the family members created the Challenger Center for Space Science Education in April of 1986. It was the world’s first interactive space science education center to use state-of-the-art technology and space-life simulators. Today, more than 500,000 students explore space annually at more than 45 Challenger Learning Centers throughout the world including the Challenger Learning Center-St. Louis in Ferguson, Missouri.
For more information about the anniversary events or to share your story, visit clcstlouis.org
The Challenger Learning Center-St. Louis is a partnership of the Saint Louis Science Center, the Ferguson-Florissant School District and the Cooperating School Districts of Greater St. Louis.