Trumbull students have been journeying to space at Discovery Museum for years. The Museum is home to Connecticut’s only Challenger Learning Center, a unique facility where groups of young learners can take on a variety of roles in an immersive learning environment. They must solve problems collaboratively to complete a simulated space mission. Discovery’s Challenger Learning Center is one of a network of over 40 centers globally, and provides students with the opportunity to accomplish a mission by completing specific defined roles and working together as a team.
A number of years ago, young Sarah Tropp visited Discovery with her teacher, Steve Spillane, who is a 5th grade teacher at Daniels Farm Elementary School in Trumbull. Mr. Spillane brings classes to complete Challenger missions each year, and Sarah came to Discovery as her class’s Communications (COM) officer. Sarah shared, “I remember thinking we were very important acting in the roles of adults, and being very proud to be the COM officer. My role meant that I got to see what every other team was doing, and get the best idea of how the mission was running.”
When Mr. Spillane returned with his class this year, he found some wonderful surprises: an entirely refurbished Challenger Learning Center, featuring renovations recently completed on the spacecraft section, and a very familiar Mission Commander at the helm. Guiding his students through the simulation was Mr. Spillane’s former student, Sarah Tropp. Sarah is now an Educator here at Discovery Museum, and in this photo, you can see Mr. Spillane and Commander Tropp’s reunion in Mission Control.
Both Daniels Farm Elementary teachers who visited this week, Mr. Spillane and Mrs. Civitelli expressed excitement about the renovated Challenger Learning Center. They were very pleased with how the renovations have improved the simulation experience for their students.
Located 6 miles and about a 10 minute drive from Daniels Farm Elementary, Discovery Museum is proud to offer unique hands-on STEM learning opportunities to school groups from Trumbull, Fairfield, Bridgeport and 28 other nearby cities and towns. Click here to learn more about our Education Programs.