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The Howard B. Owens Science Center was the second Challenger Learning Center in the Nation and the first owned and operated by a school system. It was dedicated on July 17, 1989. Our CLC new upgrade to SIM 3 software allows us to fly the latest missions including Earth's Odyssey, Expedition Mars and Lunar Quest. Always check which mission is currently running in the Mission Status window at the top of the page. These simulated virtual missions run about two hours and can accommodate between 24-30 children comfortably. The missions are designed mainly for middle school age students, grades 6-8, with the exception of Lunar Quest which is also available to high school-aged students. Prince George’s County Public Schools have priority in scheduling missions; however private schools and home school groups can also register online and scout troops can call or e-mail to make arrangements for special missions.
The Mission Begins
Students are assigned stations to work at as they learn the variety of jobs performed during a mission. Crew manifests are available online and it helps to have students assigned to their jobs prior to arriving at the CLC. Each mission starts off with a pre-flight briefing of the mission. Next, the students are divided into two groups; half of the students start working in Mission Control, while the other students board the Space Craft. At midpoint in the mission, there is a crew exchange and students switch locations. Once students complete the mission, the group comes together for a final post-flight briefing. Pre-visit and Post-visit materials are available for teachers to help with preparation and follow-up to the students’ day at the Challenger Learning Center.
Scheduling a Mission
To schedule a Challenger Mission you must fill out the online registration form and submit it to the Science Center. A confirmation will be posted online for you once a date has been established and transportation has been arranged. You may only register for the mission that is currently being run. There is no program cost for Prince George’s County Public Schools and a bus will be arranged for transportation. Private schools and Home schools can register online and will be charged a fee per child and must arrange for their own transportation.
9601 Greenbelt Road • Lanham, MD 20706 • Phone 301-918-8750