Challenger Center celebrates 15 years

Gwendolyn Holliday Staff Reporter gjoseph@civitasmedia.com

May 20, 2014

HAZARD- The Challenger Learning Center celebrated 15 years of educating students on Saturday with a presentation of NASA’s “Year of the Solar System; New Worlds, New Discoveries.”

The center had two featured speakers, Bob Twiggs, professor of space and astronautical engineering at Morehead State University, and Jeremy Wood, professor of physics and astronomy at Hazard Community and Technical College.

Brandon Robinson, meteorologist with WYMT, was on hand to talk to visitors about the weather on other planets within our solar system.

The Children’s Interactive Museum Exhibits were also running that day which featured several experiments about Mars.

Three sessions of the Mini Space Mission were available for patrons to participate in where visitors could perform various scientific experiments and take a simulated shuttle launch to the international space station

Visitors could also visit the Kentucky Department of Agriculture Mobile Science Activity Center parked outside. Inside the 44-foot long trailer, visitors could participate in activities to make biodegradable corn plastics and make soybean lip balm.

Patrons were given ice cream cones during an activity about comets. Inside the ice cream were buried objects such as chocolate chips and sprinkles that simulated components of comets.

Dr. James M. Fields, a native of Viper, was on hand to talk about his experiences at NASA with visitors.

Fields has a BS and an MS in engineering and science and a PhD in Materials Engineering Science and Ceramic and Metallurgical Engineering. He worked at General Electric’s Flight Propulsion Division before moving on to work at NASA’s Space Nuclear Propulsion Division, NASA’s Mercury and Apollo programs and the first Space Shuttle Missions including the launches of Columbia, Challenger and Discovery.

Gwendolyn Holliday can be reached at 606-436-5771, or on Twitter@HazardHerald.