LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The Kentucky Science Center and JCPS have piloted a sixth grade immersive space science program at Kentucky Science Center’s flagship facility in downtown Louisville and the Challenger Learning Center at Academy @ Shawnee.
This partnership provides an amazing opportunity for sixth grade students in our district to comprehend science and space curriculum through hands-on experience and application," JCPS Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio said. "By piloting the program with the select schools, we can test the logistical aspects of expanding this program to all sixth graders in JCPS.”
The full-day curriculum allowed students to participate in a simulated mission to Mars at the Challenger Learning Center for half the day and classroom lessons at the science center for the other half of the school day. At the Challenger Center students were able to reprogram satellites, calculate and plot a course to Mars, evaluate soil analysis, and use technology to examine rocks and monitor crew health. Students will also explore exhibits at the Kentucky Science Center including Sun, Earth, Universe Exhibition, which was created by a collaboration between NASA and the National Informal STEM Education Network.
Classes from Noe Middle, Olmsted South, Olmsted North, and Westport Middle were selected to take part in this pilot program with plans to expand to all JCPS sixth grade programs as part of the science and space curriculum.
This pilot initiative is funded in part by Churchill Downs Foundation.
“Churchill Downs is committed to being a responsible corporate citizen. When we can improve access and education, especially for our neighbors in South Louisville, we are motivated to support," President of Churchill Downs Foundation Tonya Abeln said. "The Challenger Pilot Program and the school-based STEM Clubs are crucial to inspiring children from every background to pursue academic and professional careers that better their future and the future of our Commonwealth.”