25%, of the annual “spaceport tax” collected in DAC goes into a fund marked for education of students in Space, and STEM areas. This story describes how SpacePort America is involved in regional educational programs, including the “Challenger Center” located in downtown Las Cruces.
VR and remote connectivity are employed to create the learning experience.
There are two major methods by which Spaceport America participates in STEM education. One is our student virtual tour program. Some of us spend part of nearly every Thursday talking with students in Las Cruces Public Schools and taking them on a virtual tour of spaceport facilities. We do this in conjunction with the Challenger Center. Every sixth-grader in the LCPS will participate in a simulated, but in many ways very realistic, space mission at the Challenger Center.
A Spaceport America virtual tour is provided to each group before their Challenger Center mission. In these tours, we talk about space and rocket science with emphasis on Spaceport America, answer questions, and conduct a tour of Mission Control and the Fire Station. After their mission, Virgin Galactic conducts further discussions with the students.