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The Powerhouse Science Center and Aerojet today announced a $1.5 million gift from Aerojet, that will launch the new science complex’s cutting-edge simulated NASA space mission program, to be named the Aerojet Challenger Learning Center.
The current heavily-used 17-year-old Challenger Learning Center is in full operation at the Discovery Museum Science & Space Center, which will relocate and become the Powerhouse Science Center when the new facility opens in 2014. Recently honored as one of the nation’s most successful Challenger Centers, Sacramento’s Challenger adventure inspires future astronauts with suspension-of-disbelief scenarios and problems, challenging students to apply the math, science and communication skills learned in the classroom to “real-life” situations.
Aerojet strives to influence and attract this nation’s next generation of rocket scientists, astronauts, doctors and teachers, and has partnered with Powerhouse to encourage students to pursue education and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). This major contribution highlights the company’s commitment to enriching the Sacramento region and championing STEM education for the future workforce.
“America’s many successes in space exploration have always benefited from the tremendous sources of technical talent graduating from our educational institutions,” Aerojet president Scott Seymour said. “Continued successes will require the same from future generations and our partnership with the Powerhouse Science Center and Challenger Learning Center will serve to inspire today’s youth toward that end.”
“Since 1997, Aerojet and the GenCorp Foundation have committed approximately $500,000 in support for our highly successful Challenger Learning Center at the Discovery Museum,” Powerhouse interim executive director Michele Wong said. “Now, as Discovery grows and expands into the Powerhouse Science Center, we are honored that Aerojet has stepped up to be our first title sponsor. The new Aerojet Challenger Learning Center at the Powerhouse will be the most advanced of the 54 Challenger Centers worldwide.”
The new Aerojet Challenger Center will be located on the Powerhouse Science Center campus in the Earth & Space Sciences Center, which will also include a 150-seat full-dome planetarium theater and interactive exhibits that focus on the relationship of the four spheres: air/atmosphere, water/hydrosphere, earth/lithosphere/ and life/biosphere. Exterior experiences will include water conservation, green energy and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.
Located on the scenic banks of the Sacramento River, the Powerhouse Science Center is situated in the River District at 400 Jibboom Street. In addition to the Earth & Space Sciences Center, the Powerhouse campus will also include innovative, hands-on exhibit halls, science laboratories and classrooms, robotics programs, an artificial wetlands, outdoor stage and screen, a restaurant with riverfront views and more. The center has nearly completed its pre-construction phase and will begin breaking ground in 2012.
For more information on the Powerhouse Science Center, including how to become a Founding Partner, visitpowerhousesciencecenter.org, email info@PowerhouseScienceCenter.org, or call (916) 853-0343. Visit the center on Twitter, Facebook and Flickr.
A selection of Powerhouse Science Center images can be viewed at dreyfussblackford.com/powerhouse.
Disclosure: Jeffrey Weidel is a Vice President of Halldin Public Relations in Roseville.