On Dec. 21 a group of thirty Port Clinton Middle School sixth grade students traveled to the Challenger Learning Center in Oregon to complete a space mission simulation.
The trip was sponsored by the North Point ESC as a part of their STEM initiative to increase student enthusiasm about math, science and technology. The Challenger Center specifically designed this simulation program to provide an authentic encounter that increases the principles of teamwork, responsible decision-making, problem-solving and communication. Students were immersed in a realistic Mission Control and Space Station environment: computer consoles, communication headsets, continuous messages on the loud speakers, electronic messages, teammates they could only see on video monitors, emergency sounds and flashing lights, and hands-on activities at science stations.
Ms. Jennifer Kelly, Fleet 6 Science Teacher said, “Embedded throughout the mission were opportunities for students to apply the skills they have learned in the classroom, grasp abstract concepts and take responsibility for their own learning.” The students successfully completed their individual tasks which, in turn, allowed the entire group to accomplish the final goal of landing on the moon. Ultimately, the students left the experience with a renewed spirit of camaraderie, self-esteem and commitment to learning.