In the aftermath of the Challenger STS-51L tragedy, the crew’s families came together, firmly committed to carrying on the spirit of their loved ones by continuing their education mission. In April 1986, they created Challenger Center for Space Science Education.
The families’ vision was to create a place that would inspire children; where students could conduct experiments, collaborate to solve problems, and immerse themselves in space-like surroundings. Their goal was to spark an interest and joy in STEM. A spark that could change the trajectory of children’s futures.
CHALLENGER LEARNING CENTER OF TALLAHASSEE
Tallahassee residents Dr. Norman Thagard, FAMU-FSU College of Engineering associate dean, retired astronaut and close friend of the Scobee family; Dr. C.J. Chen, FAMU-FSU College of Engineering dean; and Captain Winston Scott, retired astronaut and former Florida State University vice-president for student affairs also shared the concern over the lack of American students with international competitive skills in math and science. To help arm future generations with these critical skills, they joined forces to create a Challenger Center in Florida’s Capital city.
In March 2003, their collective dream materialized with the opening of the Challenger Learning Center of Tallahassee (CLC), the official K-12 outreach facility of the Florida A&M University – Florida State University College of Engineering. Located in downtown Tallahassee, the CLC serves 40,000-60,000 students annually, across a 67-county, tri-state service area. We are on a mission to empower future generations with crucial skills through standards-aligned, high-quality “hands-on, minds-on” educational experiences.
Not only does the CLC cater to students, but it also offers the general public and tourists a unique experience through its IMAX Theatre and Planetarium. By acquiring and showcasing the best films and programs available, the CLC provides stunningly unique, entertaining, and culturally relevant experiences.
FAMU – FSU COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING
The Challenger Learning Center of Tallahassee is the K-12 outreach facility of the Florida A&M University – Florida State University College of Engineering and strives to foster long-term interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM); create positive learning experiences; and motivate students to pursue higher education and careers in these fields. Learn more about the Florida A&M University – Florida State University College of Engineering degree programs today.