Challenger Center transports students to a cutting-edge Mission Control room and a high-tech space station for an unforgettable learning experience! 

challenger learning center richmond

challenger teamwork crew

As students enter the briefing room of the "Expedition Mars" mission they move through a time warp into the 21st century! A research outpost has been established on Phobos, the largest of Mars' moons, and students become astronauts exploring Mars for the presence of water. Teamwork is key as Mission Control engineers and scientists on Phobos along with their teammates aboard the Mars Transport Vehicle (MTV) work together to complete a set of research-focused goals. Mission success emerges from collaborative tasks such as navigating the MTV, building and programming a rover to search for water, and monitoring space for potential radiation and physical hazards. Medical officers, biologists, and geologists work to collect valuable data and to keep the crew safe. The astronauts work against the clock to complete their mission objectives that include:


  • Utilizing remote sensing and hands-on investigations to explore the geology and geography of Mars
  • Building, testing, and programming a rover for Mars exploration
  • Calculating proper speed and trajectory for safe navigation of the MTV
  • Collecting and evaluating experimental data to maintain spacecraft homeostasis and crew well-being
  • Monitoring space for hazards such as solar mass ejections and asteroid impacts
  • Using effective communication to effectively utilize resources and skills to solve problems and respond to emergency situations


This high-tech and engaging lesson will release the scientist, adventurer, and space explorer in all of us!

Class size is limited to 30 students. 

Standards of Learning: 2010 Science (6.1, 6.3, 6.5, 6.6, 6.8); 2010 Earth Science: (ES.3, ES.6, ES. 8, ES.11, ES.12); 2010 Life Science (LS.6, LS.9); 2010 Physical Science (PS.6, PS.7); 2012 Computer Technology: (C/T 6–8.1, C/T 6–8.10, C/T 6–8.13)



Quotes from students

Consortium student
Consortium student
This was the most fun I've had at school in forever! I want to come back soon and do it again.
Consortium student
Consortium student
That was awesome. I felt the pressure when we were trying to figure out fixing the satellite. We were able to do it because we worked as a team.


 File Downloads for Teachers and Chaperones



Challenger Learning Center Video