Challenger Learning Center of AK

Raven Correspondence School, Anchorage Office

This e-mail has been updated to give complete information about the workshop and mission programming. RSVP soon to ensure your student's spot in this fantastic opportunity!

Join us for a day field trip to Kenai!

When: Thursday, August 27 at 12:00-6:00pm

Who - Group A:
Grades 4-6
Who - Group B:
Grades 7-12

Where: The Challenger Learning Center in Kenai, Alaska!
Each family is responsible for their transportation to/from Kenai.

Cost: A maximum cost of $45 per student from allotment, depending on how many students RVSP. We must have at least 14 students from each age group RSVP.

You must RSVP to Valerie ( and confirm details by Friday, July 31st.

What will my student do?

Group A: Grades 4-6
12:00-2:30pm -
Voyage to Mars Mission Simulation
2:30-3:30pm - Break & Group Activity Led by Raven Staff
3:30-6:00pm - Nanotechnology in Space Workshop

Group B: Grades 7-12
12:00-2:30pm - Thermal Engineering Design Workshop
2:30-3:30pm - Break & Group Activity Led by Raven Staff
3:30-6:00pm - Earth Mission Simulation

Descriptions of most missions and workshops are located at the bottom of this e-mail. For more detailed information, visit:

A couple more details...

Student Policy: We can only accept RSVPs from students in grades 4-12.

Sibling Policy: If a sibling is in 3rd grade or younger, they must stay home. They cannot attend the field trip nor observe the field trip. If a non-Raven sibling is in 4th grade or older, they may only attend the field trip if there is space available for them to participate, and they must pay the student cost.

Parent Policy: At least one parent must be present for the field trip. As per the Challenger Center's policy, parents are treated as "aliens" for the duration of each session. Parents can only observe and may not assist. The missions are designed to have the kids struggle in order to succeed. The Challenger staff is equipped to help students through the learning experience in order to reach a positive outcome.

Program Descriptions: Grades 4-6

"Voyage to Mars" Mission

In Earth years, it is 2076. A now routine Voyage to Mars has brought the latest human crew into Martian orbit. Control of the incoming flights has been transferred from Houston's Mission Control to Mars Control at Chryse Station. The crew arriving from Earth on the Mars Transport Vehicle has been specially trained to replace the existing crew of astronauts, which has manned Mars Control for the past two years. After arriving on the martian surface, the team will collect and analyze a number of planetary samples and data. This information is vital to scientists and explorers for a better understanding of the Red Planet.

"Nanotechnology in Space" Workshop

During this workshop, your students will learn what the big deal is about nanotechnology. Nanotechnology is technology at the nano-scale - one BILLIONTH of a meter! This field of science is exploding with new opportunities and applications in nearly every field of science. Through hands-on exploration, students learn about size and scale, risks and benefits of technology, forms of carbon and changing chemical and physical properties.

Program Descriptions: Grades 7-12

Thermal Engineering Design

Your students will be immersed in the engineering design process to develop a thermal protection system for a model spacecraft. Students will design, build, test, and revise their own solutions to problems that share fundamental science and engineering issues with the challenges facing NASA engineers. These activities are designed to achieve national standards in science, math, and critical thinking skills; while exploring heat, heat transfer, and engineering principles.

"Earth Odyssey" Mission

Fast forward to a future solar max - a time when the greatest solar activity in the 11-year solar cycle of the sun takes place. A major coronal mass ejection (CME) occurred just four weeks ago, with a burst of solar winds blasting from the sun toward Earth. The threat caused an immediate evacuation of the Space Station to ensure the safety of our astronauts in low Earth orbit. Fortunately, the Space Station was unharmed, but some satellites were not as lucky. The strength of the CME was so strong that several vital satellites, responsible for collecting Earth science information, suffered critical damage.

Without these satellites, we can no longer identify and study the changes that are occurring on our planet. While heading back into orbit during this turbulent time of solar activity is a risk, there is no choice. The destruction caused by the CME must be addressed immediately.

It will take a true team effort of scientists from the Mission Control crew and astronauts in the Space Station to fix this serious problem. The two groups will have to quickly address the damage and achieve two major goals:

  1. Use their location in space and the instruments on the Space Station to observe Earth and its changes.
  2. Utilize the small manufacturing facility on the Space Station to create a new micro satellite to replace the one lost in the CME.
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