Thursday, June 5, 2008

From WV to Rome: Challenger Learning Center e-Missions reports on an e-Mission that just finished up yesterday. It linked English-speaking students in Rome with the Challenger Learning Center at Wheeling Jesuit University in West Virginia through interactive videoconferencing.

The Challenger Learning Center is just one of 51 centers created by the Challenger Center for Space Science to honor the crew of the Challenger space shuttle. At the Wheeling, WV, center, about 40,000 students a year take e-Missions either in person at the center or through the Internet, like the students in Rome. The missions are meant to get students to "apply their math, science, and teamwork skills." The WV Center serves the most students of all the centers and has been honored for just that the past 9 years.

Middle school students at the Ambrit-Rome International School did an e-Mission on June 3 and 4. The Ambrit-Rome students took part in Operation Montserrat in which they had to "decide how to save the residents of the small Caribbean island of Montserrat as a volcano erupts and a hurricane approaches." It's a scenario based on something that actually happened in Montserrat some years ago.

The Challenger Learning Center is increasing its international reach. Missions were conducted this past year with teachers in Korea and Northern Ireland and students in Canada. Some of the missions also come in Spanish with potential to reach Spanish-speaking nations or be incorporated in Spanish language classes. Any school or class with videoconferencing capabilities can sign up for an e-Mission. There's a contact link on the Challenger Learning Center Simulations webpage and links where you can find out more about specific e-Missions and sign up for free teacher training.

SOURCE: "Rome Students Connect to WJU Program" 06/03/08
photo courtesy of dbking, used under this Creative Commons license

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