I had a meeting today with some nice folks at the Christa McAuliffe Center at Framingham State College. This center provides support to teachers by offering science and math programs, some with space exploration themes. One of their programs, the Challenger Learning Center, hosts groups of middle-school students who participate in team-oriented, science-based simulated space missions in mockups of Houston's Mission Control and a space station interior. It's a pretty cool place for grown up space freaks too.
Since this center is already using space themes for science education, I thought they might be interested in Orbiter. I contacted them, and they invited me to give a presentation and demo on Orbiter to some of their staff involved with science/technology and curriculum development. It went well, and they will be looking into the possibility of using Orbiter in some of their programs. I offered to help.
Christa McAuliffe, who tragically died along with the rest of the crew of the Space Shuttle Challenger in 1986, was chosen as NASA's first "teacher in space." Her mission continues today in the programs of the Christa McAuliffe Center and the Challenger Learning Centers.