Challenger’s e-Missions are simulated, problem-based, interactive learning adventures delivered right into the classroom via distance learning technology – e-Missions connect with classrooms anywhere in the world! These missions are great tools to motivate students to learn math and science while meeting standards and objectives in the classroom.

Prior to the mission, students complete classroom "training" activities to prepare for their jobs.

On mission day, classrooms turn into hubs of activity as students use teamwork, communication, and problem solving skills to avoid disasters and save lives. Research indicates that this kind of fast-paced, engaged learning environment leads to improved critical-thinking skills and helps create life-long learners. Classes assemble as emergency response teams and then connect via technology to the Flight Director at Mission Control. With the use of the internet and video conferencing equipment, these live scenarios are conducted in your classroom by a Flight Director at Mission Control from the Challenger Learning Center. Teams work together with Mission Control to handle the problem situation as the scenario unfolds. Frequently, new data is received in the classroom and teams perform calculations, create graphs, and assess the updated situation. Then the teams apply their critical thinking skills using scientifically accurate data to make recommendations to Mission Control based on their analyses, which may potentially save lives.

Resources for teachers include: curriculum training, all lesson plans, assessment materials, and online support. The mission package also includes technology support to help teachers prepare their classrooms for mission day.

Choose from these e-Missions:

Moon, Mars and Beyond – Grades 3 and up

On mission day, the students are in Mars Mission Control anxiously awaiting the arrival of a space ship that is launching from the lunar base. The space ship is on a rescue mission. It has been five days since a research vessel exploring the outer regions of our solar system has checked in with the Mars base. They are thought to be lost or having communication problems. The rescue ship just launched from the Moon will hopefully bring the two astronaut crews back to the Mars station safely. The rescue ship will have to stop at the Mars base to pick up the supplies needed for the rescue of the astronauts and for the trip back to Mars.

Operation Montserrat – Grades 6 and up

With the help of computers, the Internet and satellite imaging, students interact with the flight director to track the hurricane, predict volcanic rock fall and determine how these conditions will impact the island’s air, land, water and vegetation. The e-Mission allows students to participate as Earth Systems Science Experts using distance learning technologies.

Space Station Alpha – Grades 9 and up

Ninety three million miles away a major solar flare is about to erupt. The GOES-8 satellite detects and transmits early warning data to Mission Control. Mission Control must warn the astronauts aboard the Space Station and help guide them through this dangerous event. 

Book a mission here.   

Have a question about e-missions? Email us, or call 719-598-9755.


Mission materials for Moon, Mars and Beyond

Mission Overview PowerPoint

Training - Mission Scenario

Crew Manifest

Training - Educator Timeline

Training - "Nuts & Bolts" Teacher Checklist

Technology - Setup

Technology - Test Connect Instructions

Lesson Plan Overview

Required Lessons

Table Tent Cards: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto

Contributors Donor Opportunities Workforce Training