Tallahassee Challenger Learning Center Offers Remote Space Mission Simulator

Tallahassee Challenger Learning Center Offers Remote Space Mission Simulator

A student takes part in a Europa Encounter virtual mission. (Courtesy of the Tallahassee Challenger Learning Center)

When the COVID-19 pandemic curtailed some of the in-person activities typically offered by the Tallahassee Challenger Learning Center, the science center created an online space mission that has since been used by hundreds of students.

The center, which is the K-12 awareness center of the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, has adapted its space mission simulator site for a virtual mission called the “Europa Encounter”. Students act as scientists at a remote mission control while communicating with staff at the Challenger Learning Center who perform tasks as astronauts in the simulator.

The virtual mission helped the center to share its offerings with a wider audience. Previously, classes who wanted to do a space mission had to visit the center. Now there is no need to travel.

“We were able to take this unique experience and share it at a time when many schools cannot necessarily come on a field trip,” said Samantha Reaves, communications and development manager for the center.

The objective of the mission is to launch a probe in Europe, one of the moons …

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