Regional Challenger Learning Center Gaining Support

Posted on Mar 18, 2015

The opportunity for local students to train on experiments like NASA astronauts, as well as learn Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (also known as STEM) skills is picking up speed in the region.

In April 2013, three Indiana County educators received support from the Armstrong County Commissioners via proclamation for a regional Challenger Learning Center to entice students – particularly middle-schoolers – to become more interested in higher-level courses.

Now dubbed the Central Allegheny Challenger Learning Center, Indiana Area School District Board Director Julia Trimarchi said more than $2.5 million in grant funding has been dedicated to the educational program since.

“There are a lot of new things going on: we did raise enough money to hire a developer to finish fundraising for the project,” Trimarchi said. “This thing has just snowballed in Indiana County – there has been a lot of cooperation and excitement around this.”

As of October, community supporters estimated they were about 50 percent complete with fundraising efforts.

Supporters received a nearly-$1.4 million RCAP, or Redevelopment Capital Assistance Program, grant from then-Governor Tom Corbett in February 2014. They celebrated the grant announcement with national Challenger Center CEO Dr. Lance Bush and NASA Astronaut Leland Melvin.

“It’s wonderful – (Bush) was from Homer City, Pa. originally, which has had a lot to do with us getting the franchise in our county,” Trimarchi said.

 

 

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Courtesy of The Kittanning Paper