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Challenger Learning Center

About the Challenger Center

Challenger Learning Center Logo What is the Challenger Learning Center?

As a leader in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education; Challenger Center and its international network of more than 40 Challenger Learning Centers use space-themed simulated learning environments to engage students in dynamic, hands-on opportunities. These experiences strengthen knowledge in STEM subjects and inspire students to pursue careers in these important fields. Founded in 1986, the Challenger Learning Center program was created to honor the crew of shuttle flight STS-51L. Challenger Learning Center of Lake Erie West is part of a global network that reaches hundreds of thousands of students and tens of thousands of teachers each year. To learn more, visit

The Challenger Learning Center of Lake Erie West is comprised of a futuristic space station that gives the students a simulated experience of working in space and a mission control modeled after NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Our simulations offer real-world learning experiences. The curriculum is aligned to Ohio's New Learning Standards. In addition, we offer in-class and large group outreach, an option for on and off-site StarLab Planetarium programs, Scout Badge programs, and summer camps. 

The Challenger Experience

A visit to the Challenger Learning Center is not just a field trip! It’s a unique hands-on learning experience transforming you into a scientist, engineer, or researcher on a simulated space mission complete with mission control and a spacecraft! From the moment of lift-off to the completion of the mission, you become a critical member of one of eight teams.

Utilizing skills vital to career and college readiness (Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking and Creativity), the teams work together to successfully complete the mission.

Whether you are a classroom teacher, a youth leader, a human resource manager or a curious space explorer, we have a program that will fit your needs. Your mission will be an inquiry based experience that will guide you to new paths of discovery.

Our Mission

Engage students and teachers in dynamic, hands-on exploration and discovery opportunities that strengthen knowledge in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), inspire students to pursue careers in these fields, and provide an outlet to learn and apply important life skills.

Our Vision

Build a scientifically literate public and shape our future leaders to help improve quality of life across the globe – not just through pragmatic teaching, but by the power of vision, inspiration, and innovation.