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Museum sending Chester-East Lincoln students to Challenger Learning Center

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[NOV. 12, 2004]  In February of 2005, a group of seventh-grade science students from Chester-East Lincoln School, with sponsorship from the Heritage In Flight Museum, will attend the Challenger Learning Center in Bloomington. The center's facility is set up to realistically simulate a NASA mission control center and space station. The hands-on tour gives students the opportunity to work as a team, with individualized skills, to creatively solve problems and learn from them.

The local aviation museum elected to send a group of area elementary students to the center after HIF members toured the facility at the Bloomington Airport.

Chester-East Lincoln science teacher Doug Rader will lead the field trip. Mr. Rader attended the Challenger Center in October to receive one-on-one training from the center's certified teachers. The teacher training session is designed to give science teachers the tools necessary to present a special module to their students before the actual trip to the center in February.

The students will use the skills gained in their preparation to participate in a simulated space mission, with the class divided between ground controllers and astronauts on a space station in orbit. The students will switch roles during the half-day mission in order to get experience at very position. Certified teachers at the center will lead the mission.

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Challenger Learning Centers, located throughout the United States, are the local sites for the Challenger Center for Space Science Education, headquartered in Alexandria, Va. The center was organized to continue the educational mission that was tragically cut short during the Challenger shuttle mission in 1986.

The Heritage In Flight Museum is located at the Logan County Airport. The museum contains aviation displays from the earliest days of flying to the present, with special emphasis on spreading the word through educational outreach that aviation is a vital part of our community. In addition to the museum, HIF also has several flying aircraft used for member flight lessons. It is the intent of HIF to sponsor a class from the community each year to travel to the Challenger Learning Center.

[News release]

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