EDUCATION TEAM

Our education staff is comprised of teachers, professionals with an extensive STEM background and/or individuals experienced with child care or best practices in education. We are the K-12 educational outreach facility of the Florida A&M–Florida State University College of Engineering and serve over 60,000 students each year from FL, GA and AL. We are experts in informal education and creating positive, lasting learning experiences to motivate students to pursue higher education and careers in STEM fields.

William Figueroa has a degree in Middle Grades Science and Social Studies and has designed and led various camps for Camp Challenger. Native from Puerto Rico, he is bilingual and has been part of the Education Staff of Challenger Learning Center for six years.

Layne Mikesell received her bachelor’s in Elementary Education with a concentration in Exceptional Student Education from Flagler College. Layne primarily works with second and third graders, but has experience working with students of all ages. She has worked with children for over a decade and has been a member of the Challenger Learning Center Education Staff several years and now serves primarily as the Education Coordinator. 

Bernard Edouard is an undergraduate student at Florida A&M University as a Biology Major and has been working as a member of the Challenger Learning Center education team for about two years.

Allison Metcalf has a B.S. degree in Environmental Science from Florida State University, and has been teaching at the Challenger Learning Center for two years. Allison has a passion for getting children of all ages excited about science and technology.

Christina Hagenbeck received her B.S. in Meteorology and has student-taught science at a middle school in Florida. Christina primarily works with students in grades 2-5, and also assists with coordinating Challenger Learning Center birthday parties. Her passion is to help ignite a life-long curiosity and desire for learning in students, especially in STEM fields.

Lloyd Wheeler is an aviator who started flying in the 1960’s.  Lloyd holds several professional flight certificates.  Lloyd worked at the Challenger Learning Center when it first opened, running space mission simulations and planetarium shows. He is back at the center doing science demonstrations for K-12 groups and enjoys showing our visitors how much fun science can be.

Nika Blank received her B.S. in Environmental Science from Florida State University, where she is currently pursuing an M.S. in Biological Oceanography. Nika has taught and tutored students from middle school through college, and has worked with students in less formal settings as a camp counselor and swim instructor. Nika has been at Challenger Learning Center for over a year where she primarily works with K-3 students. She enjoys sharing her love of science with students; encouraging them to be curious, creative and open while learning about themselves and the world around them.

Lisa Kraut is a K-1 teacher in Leon County. She has a Bachelors Degree in Early Childhood Education and a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction, both from Florida State University. Lisa has experience in teaching pre-kindergarten-4th grade in Leon County and Gadsden County. She has been at Challenger for seven years and has worked with students pre-kindergarten-8th grade. She enjoys sparking an interest in STEAM for young children. Her favorite subjects are math, science and music and she enjoys serving as the Mini Mu sponsor at her school.

Daniel Allison received a M.S. degree from Florida State University in Meteorology. He enjoys working with students in grades K-8 at the Challenger Learning Center doing various educational programs, including space mission simulations, field trips, off-site programs and summer camps. He has over 10 years of formal and informal teaching experience, and has also taught middle and high school students at North Florida Christian School in Tallahassee. Each day, Daniel shares his passion for science with students of all ages visiting the Challenger Learning Center, and loves seeing the excitement and “light bulb” moment on students’ faces.

Liana Rodriguez is pursuing a masters degree in Elementary Education from Florida State University.  Liana enjoys working with students of all ages,  although she mostly works with K-1 students at the Challenger Learning Center. She believes that children can do anything they set their minds to and wants to help them realize their full potential.

Brooke Wessel is pursuing her PhD in Museum Education at Florida State University. She has worked in museum education for seven years and has primarily worked with grades K-8th. Brooke’s favorite part of education is helping students find their self confidence through learning.

Sierra Lundstrom received her B.S. in Wildlife from Purdue University and has taught students of all ages at zoos and the Challenger Learning Center. Her favorite subject is science and she loves to share knowledge about the world around us. The best part of her day is when she can help a student become passionate about learning.

Jessica Goodrich is pursuing a degree in elementary education and works for the Challenger Learning Center running space mission simulations, field trips and other educational programs. She enjoys the children’s enthusiasm as they learn new things in fun ways.

Noah Christian has a degree in Political Science from Southern Illinois University Carbondale and is pursuing a Masters in Special Education at Grand Canyon University. Noah has five years of experience as a middle school teacher in Illinois. Noah’s favorite subjects to teach are biology and social studies. He has been working at the Challenger Learning Center since January 2020 and enjoys working with kids of all age groups and teaching interactive lessons centered around S.T.E.A.M.

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200 S. Duval Street Tallahassee, FL 32301  850-645-7796
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Open from 10am to 10pm
12pm to 10pm Sundays

Closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day

The Challenger Learning Center is located on the beautiful Kleman Plaza in Downtown Tallahassee.