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Challenger Learning Center Hosts ‘Girls in Space’

WHEELING – The Challenger Learning Center at Wheeling University will host a Girls in Space Day this weekend with visiting classes from regional schools.

In these interactive STEM learning experiences, students work together in teams to learn core scientific principles and develop their skills in data analysis, critical thinking, collaboration, and creative problem-solving.

On Saturday, the CLC will host a Girls in Space Day with the underserved population of young girls from the Laughlin Memorial Chapel. The Girls in Space Day will include hands-on science experiments, lessons in computer programming and an interactive space mission in the CLC’s special Micronaut simulator.

Designed especially for students in kindergarten through third grade, the CLC’s Micronauts area is an immersive simulator that transports students from planet Earth to the International Space Station.

Hands-on activities at 12 different stations are each designed to enhance students’ critical thinking skills through exploration and discovery of basic science, mathematics, and language arts concepts.

During a typical one-hour mission, students rotate through stations where they work as scientists, mathematicians, and engineers.

For example, at the nutrition station, students learn the importance of balanced diets as they devise a menu for two astronauts that meets the USDA Food Guide Pyramid guidelines, while students at the underwater glovebox simulate the training that astronauts undergo as they prepare for the gravity-free environment of space.

“Girls in Space Days are designed to make math and science education more fun and engaging for female students, and to introduce them to the practical applications of these concepts in a real-world setting,” says Jackie Shia, Director of the Challenger Learning Center. “By seeing themselves as engineers and mathematicians, we hope to encourage female students to explore their scientific and mathematical interests, and even inspire them to consider pursuing careers in science and engineering.”

Girls in Space Days at the Challenger Learning Center are sponsored by the Community Foundation for the Ohio Valley Women’s Giving Circle.

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