The Arizona Challenger Space Center/The Challenger Learning Center of Arizona (CSC of AZ), an organization created by the surviving families of the Challenger Space Shuttle disaster, in collaboration with the Paradise Valley Unified School District (PVSchools), today announces the location of their new home. The new CSC of AZ will be located at N.17835 44th Street in Phoenix. The move date has not yet been set.
CSC of AZ brings its affiliations with NASA, Challenger National Learning Centers and the Smithsonian to the partnership with the Paradise Valley school district. “We have an 18-year history of advocating for and providing quality STEM education,” noted Bob Rasmussen, CSC Board Member. “We’ve worked with 32 school districts and many other organizations to offer our simulated space missions, STEM workshops and programs to continue to advance education in Arizona.”
“We are so thrilled about our new collaboration with the Arizona Challenger Space Center. We plan to grow the STEAM education program that provides important life skills in addition to a wealth of knowledge and opportunities for innovation and exploration,” said James P. Lee, Ed.D., superintendent of PVSchools.
PVSchools offers a wide range of innovating K-12 STEAM/STEM programs, including:
• Center for Research, Engineering, Science, and Technology (CREST) program at Paradise Valley High School
• A fully integrated STEAM program at Desert Shadows Elementary School
• Elementary Pull-out STEM programs
• Project Lead the Way at Desert Shadows Middle School, Explorer Middle School, and Horizon High School
• Career and Technical Education course at the high school
At this new location, the CSC of AZ will be able resume many popular activities like Family Stargazing Nights, Scouting events, Homeschool Days and many new programs including coding classes, robotics skill development, a small museum of space artifacts and much more to enable faster tracks to cutting edge careers. CLC of AZ also hosts a community Robotics team currently ranked 6th out of 40 teams in the region.
Challenger Space Center of AZ receives no funding from its affiliations, but does receive many educational resources and opportunities for traveling collections that benefit the community. Opened in Peoria, Arizona in 2000, the CSC of AZ closed to the public at that location on August 5th, 2018, after the building was sold to the Peoria Unified School district, presenting a significant logistical and financial relocation challenge. Seventeen years of artifacts, memorabilia, intricate technology, space mission simulator and exhibits will need to be moved.
Financial help from the public is urgently needed within the next 30 days to retrofit the new property, formerly an elementary school, to accommodate all visitors to make it a welcoming environment that will be handi-accessible. These modifications include special ramps and lifts to allow access to the simulated space experience as well as the exhibits and special events areas. Just one of these elements will cost more than $30,000 to acquire and install. A fund-raising goal of $200,000 to become operational is a conservative estimate. These costly elements are essential to the re-opening of the CSC of AZ.
For more information and to donate, please go to AZChallenger.org. The CLC of AZ also receives donations through purchases at AmazonSmile, at no additional cost to the consumer when CLC of AZ is selected as the charity for donation. CLC of AZ is also registered for Giving Tuesday on November 27, 2018.