The Challenger Learning Center at Montco Pottstown “flies” students on a variety of space-related missions designed for elementary and middle school students in grades 5-8. Aligned with national education standards and informed by real science data, our in-person simulations excite students about STEM, introduce students to careers in these fields, and help students build important 21st century skills like critical thinking, problem solving, and collaboration.

The space-themed simulation-based experiences are led by trained Challenger Flight Directors and take place in a fully immersive Space Station and Mission Control. Surrounded by technology, each student plays a unique role in the mission as the team completes assignments, manipulates hands-on labs, and cope with simulated emergencies. Teamwork is crucial, if one member fails to complete a job, the entire mission can be put at risk. This differentiated approach allows for a truly personalized learning experience where students apply critical, scientific knowledge to real-world scenarios.

Book Your Mission

To learn more about in-person Challenger simulations, full-day STEM programs, or large group accommodations, please email the Center at

Challenger Learning Center Chaperone Policy: Challenger Center in-person missions are facilitated by trained Flight Directors. Our team requires at least 2 teachers from the participating school remain present during the entire 2-hour mission. One teacher will remain in the Spacecraft simulator, while the second teacher will be in the Mission Control simulator. Therefore 2 teachers or one teacher plus adult chaperone is required.

Explore the Missions

Lunar Quest

Lunar Quest logoThe Mission: NASA recently launched a Rover to the Moon to explore new areas and collect critical scientific data. However, the Rover lost power before any of the findings were sent back to Earth. A faster and more reliable process to gather this type of information is needed. The result is a new directive from NASA – human astronauts will return to the Moon! A team of astronauts must board a Spacecraft and launch to the Moon in search of a long-term habitat on the Moon. A team of scientists and engineers are stationed in Mission Control on Earth to command and assist the astronauts on their mission. Once the Spacecraft crew successfully lands on the Moon, they must deploy a Lunar Exploration Rover to investigate different areas of the lunar surface to identify a suitable location for a sustainable long-term human habitat. However, when the crew receives troubling readings from below the Moon’s surface, the two teams must work together and make critical decisions to turn a potential catastrophe into NASA’s finest hour!

Group size Cost
10 to 36 students $390 per group

Operation Comet

Operation Comet iconThe Mission: A team of scientists and engineers are on a daring mission to take an up-close look at a comet as it streaks across the galaxy. The goal is to plot a successful course to Rendezvous with a Comet. First, the team must plot the correct intercept course. Then they must construct and launch a space probe to gather data from the comet. What seems to be a routine exploration at first, becomes filled with challenges and emergencies. Each obstacle requires students to work together as a team to find a solution in order to make the mission successful.

Earth Odyssey
Coming soon

Earth Odyssey iconThe Mission: A recent coronal mass ejection has destroyed a vital space satellite responsible for gathering key Earth science information. Working together, the team at Mission Control and another aboard the Space Station, must build a new micro satellite to replace the one lost. However, traveling into orbit during this time of increased solar activity poses risks of its own.

Expedition Mars
Coming soon

Expedition Mars logoThe Mission: The year is 2076. A handful of facilities have been established on Mars: a greenhouse, a mobile geological survey base, and a centralized research habitat. The primary human habitat is not on Mars, but on one of its moons, Phobos. A large shuttle regularly ferries astronauts and scientists between the base on Phobos and the surface of Mars. This shuttle, or Spacecraft, carries parts to build a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to continue the search for evidence of life and water. However, when crew members discover an imminent threat to their Spacecraft and the Martian surface facilities, they must act quickly to save their stations, their research, and their lives.

Male student wearing a headset participates in the Virtual Missions

Virtual Missions

Designed for students in grades 5-8, the one-hour virtual missions are delivered in real-time and focus on the importance of teamwork and collaboration.