"I do not know what else to say except, 'Wow!' What an amazing experience this mission was for my students and for me as an educator."
David Newdeck
Springfield Township Middle School

Challenger Missions Create Excitement Among NJ Students

Posted on: Mon Dec 19 2011
Students at the East Mountain School in Belle Meade, NJ, experienced something this fall that many people only dream of—being involved in a NASA shuttle mission!

The Challenger Learning Center brought the NASA experience to this private school for children in grades 7-12 on Oct. 13-14 during a couple of e-Missions that featured Challenger director Jackie Shia on site. Established in 1980, East Mountain offers a coeducational program for those classified as special education students.

Shia said the program was so well received that students worked together as teammates easily and called the mission "very cool."

In Moon, Mars, and Beyond students are organized into five planet teams to help NASA locate and rescue a lost spaceship that is orbiting one of the outer planets.

Phil Haramia, principal and director of the school, was excited about working with the Challenger Learning Center.

"This is a wonderful opportunity to offer our kids the technology and advanced labs that are offered in the other schools," Haramia said. "It also gives them the ability to participate as a team, and experience long-distance learning. We can't shortchange our kids because of their disabilities. Even our most fragile kids were able to participate in this activity."