Challenger Learning Center

Status of Challenger?

When the board voted to accept KSC’s Proposal (and related KSC Cost Schedule Form) to run the Challenger Learning Center this summer, Dr. Hargens assured us the proposal would “greatly expand the number of (JCPS) students who benefit and learn from the Center, there will be no interruption in service.” She has said on numerous occasions that she is dedicated to adding more STEM enrichment to the JCPS curriculum.

KSC’s proposal that the board approved on July 26, stated that they would fly 150 missions this school year (which was actually the same number as CLC last year – not 30 as the proposal suggested). Cordelia Hardin told the paper that the Kentucky Science Center has “big plans” for the Challenger Learning Center, which includes adding more missions, having birthday parties and it will be open on the weekends.

As we approach the halfway mark in the 2015-2016 school year. On behalf of our stakeholders, and in keeping with the Dear JCPS mission of advocacy and accountability, we would like to ask for an update on the Challenger Learning Center under the new operator.

  • How many missions have they flown so far this year? Should be around 75 by end of year?
  • How many of the wildly successful, newly developed Micronaut missions have been flown?
  • How many JCPS students have been able to experience this STEM learning opportunity?
  • No interruption in service to us implies the ancillary benefits to the host school: The Academy @ Shawnee. How have they been doing in that regard?

As stakeholders who expressed concerns about the abrupt decision to make this change, compounded by advisory board members, Challenger Center staff and franchise owners, and other valued stakeholders not having a seat at the table when these conversations were taking place, we would like to ask for a follow up to put our minds at ease that Dr. Hargens promises are being kept.

We look forward to your follow up on these questions, and hope that Challenger is indeed being afforded every opportunity for success.

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