Bronxville News

Sixth-Graders Interview Founding Director of Challenger Center photo
Bronxville, NY

In preparation for their field trip to the Lower Hudson Valley Challenger Learning Center in Airmont, two sixth-grade classes at Bronxville Middle School participated in a FaceTime interview with June Scobee Rodgers, a founding director of the Challenger Center. 

During their June 4 virtual meeting with Scobee Rodgers, the widow of Challenger Space Shuttle Commander Richard “Dick” Scobee who died tragically in the Challenger explosion in 1986, the students asked her a series of questions. The sixth-graders learned about Scobee Rodgers’s role and inspiration behind creating the Challenger Center, which currently has 40 locations throughout the country and continues to expand.  

“By interviewing the founder of the Challenger Center, the students were even more engaged and interested in taking their mission to the moon,” said science teacher Frank Viggiani, whose students and the rest of the sixth-graders participated in a variety of hands-on simulation activities and mock space missions during their trip to the Challenger Learning Center on June 13-15.

For the past 15 years, Bronxville Middle school teachers have been taking their students on mock space missions at the Challenger Learning Center, where they apply their math, science, critical thinking, teamwork and communication skills to solve a number of problems during their missions. In addition, the sixth-graders work together to investigate what it takes to live on the moon as part of a weeklong learning experience in their science classes. They discover how to supply water, food and air to the moon before building their own models of possible lunar colonies. 

Sixth-grader Walker Liggitt from Karen Green’s science class helped set up the interview with June Scobee Rodgers.