Home » $25,000 grant from The UPS Foundation will fund Challenger Learning Center missions

$25,000 grant from The UPS Foundation will fund Challenger Learning Center missions

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Aug. 2, 2017) — Kentucky Science Center received a $25,000 grant from The UPS Foundation, which drives global corporate citizenship and philanthropic programs, to offer Challenger Learning Center missions to hundreds of middle and high school students.

The grant lifts much of the financial burden that prevents students from participating in this valuable offsite educational opportunity by fully underwriting transportation and covering 75 percent of Challenger Learning Center mission costs.

Field trips will be awarded on a first come, first served basis with priority given to Title I (with 75 percent or more of students on free or reduced lunch programs) Middle Schools in Jefferson County as part of the sixth-grade curriculum on space.

As funding remains available, missions will be offered to Title 1 7th – 8th grades, then Title 1 high school 9th – 11th grades – specifically Astronomy, Aviation, and Communications classes – followed by JCPS schools with the next highest percentage of students on free or reduced lunch programs (70 percent down to 65 percent, etc.)

Each Challenger mission meets Next Generation Science Standards and Jefferson County Public School Standards in Science, Engineering, and Literacy. While fulfilling these necessary educational standards, the Challenger Learning Center curriculum helps teach valuable STEM skills through hands-on immersive experiences and 21st century learning.

The International Challenger Center for Space Education was created by the families of the shuttle disaster to carry on the spirit of their loved ones and the crew’s educational objectives. There are currently 48 Challenger Learning Centers worldwide, and the facility in Louisville at the Academy at Shawnee is unique in its partnership between the Kentucky Science Center (KSC) and Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS).

Modeled after real-life experiences, space missions allow students to serve as scientists, engineers, and astronauts where they man Mission Control and the International Space Station. Using communication and collaboration skills, students are assigned to work in Communications, Life Support, Data, or Navigation and are given specific tasks that when completed help ensure that the mission is successful. In the newest mission installed in spring 2017, Expedition Mars, students build rovers, monitor life support with robots and science tools, conduct experiments, and plot navigation courses while attempting to find life and water on Mars.

Established in 1951 and based in Atlanta, Ga., The UPS Foundation identifies specific areas where its backing clearly impacts social issues. In support of this strategic approach, The UPS Foundation has identified the following focus areas for giving: volunteerism, diversity, community safety and the environment.

In 2016, UPS and its employees, active and retired, invested more than $116.6 million in charitable giving around the world. The UPS Foundation can be found on the web at UPS.com/foundation. To get UPS news direct, visit pressroom.ups.com/RSS.

“The UPS Foundation is honored to support the Kentucky Science Center’s efforts to encourage people of all ages to do science in engaging, educational, and entertaining ways to inspire a lifetime of learning,” said Eduardo Martinez, president of The UPS Foundation and chief diversity and inclusion officer at UPS. “Our goal is to fund powerful programs that make a lasting difference to the global community.”