Ramapo Parks
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1st through 4th Grade Academic Program Information

The Challenger Center uses a student's natural curiosity and enthusiasm for space to create innovative problem-based learning experiences for young minds. Students transform themselves into scientists, engineers, researchers, and astronauts through their participation in the Center's simulated space adventures. The Spacecraft simulator within the Center allows students to apply Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) concepts to an authentic, real-world experience that is truly out-of-this-world!

Through scheduled team missions for students in grades 1 through 4, the Town of Ramapo Challenger Center promotes 21st Century Skills including teamwork, communication, problem solving, and critical thinking skills, all of which support Common Core, and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

Working with a team, accepting responsibility, experiencing shared trust, and building communication & problem solving skills are lessons that extend far beyond the classroom - In education, this is the right stuff.

Programs for grades 1 through 4

Our programs for students in grades 1st through 4th consist of both a mission to the Moon, or Mars, or to a Comet, and a hands-on space-science activity. During any of the simulated space missions, students will apply the skills they have learned in the classroom in an authentic learning environment, performing STEM skills done by real scientists, engineers and astronauts.

  • 1-hour mission in our NASA-designed spacecraft simulator and a 1-hour hands-on activity.
  • Use of scientific instruments (microscopes, balances, robotic arms, glove boxes) and computers focusing on skills involving measuring, weighing, classifying, sorting, identifying, comparing and contrasting.

Plan Your Class Trip

  1. Choose one of our exciting Classic Mission Scenarios: Return To The Moon, Voyage To Mars, or Rendezvous With A Comet.
  2. Choose one of the following hands-on activities:
    • Constructing a Telescope - students will learn about the science of optics by constructing and using a simple refracting telescope.
    • Magical Dry Ice - students will become active participants in experiments and demonstrations as they learn about the states of matter.
    • Exploring the Sun - students will observe the Sun safely with special solar-filtering glasses, and will learn about the Sun’s energy as they perform experiments using a bracelet of Ultra Violet (UV) beads they construct.

*Experience our planetarium! We also offer planetarium programs for an additional fee of $250. that can be added on to any program to further reinforce your students' Challenger experience. *PLANETARIUM CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE

Our two-hour program can accommodate a class of up to 24 students. The group will experience both the mission and the group activity. Depending upon the size and needs of the class, it is recommended that 2-4 teachers/chaperones accompany the students on their visit to the Challenger Center.
Cost: $500/Group