The Christa McAuliffe Center for Integrated Science Learning is an informal STEM education center located on the campus of Framingham State University (FSU), in the MetroWest region of Massachusetts. It was established in 1994 to honor the legacy of educator, NASA Teacher in Space, and FSU class of 1970 graduate Christa McAuliffe. Today it serves FSU and the MetroWest community as a hub for STEM education activity and outreach.
The vision of the McAuliffe Center is to foster a community of lifelong learners by providing innovative, integrated STEM pedagogies, practices, and programs that are accessible to all audiences. The Center’s mission is to be a leader in K-16 integrated STEM learning across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, through the sharing of resources, building of partnerships, and advancement of educational practices. The Center addresses these goals through the many unique and engaging programs that it offers to learners of all ages.
The Challenger Learning Center (CLC) mission simulator was the McAuliffe Center’s first program, and is still just as popular today as it was when introduced in 1994. Through their roles as astronauts, engineers and mission controllers, approximately 8,000 students per year apply their classroom and workplace skills in this dynamic, real-world learning environment.
The McAuliffe Center manages the FSU Planetarium, a 30’ digital theater and classroom that uses the power of immersive learning to increase understanding across a broad range of subject matter and learning levels.
Both undergraduate students and the McAuliffe Center benefit from the Center’s lively internship program, which allows students to develop workplace skills while contributing to its many programs and initiatives.
The Center engages its public audience through monthly public programs in the FSU Planetarium, special events and guest speaker programs, and the annual Science on State Street festival, which draws hundreds of community members to the FSU campus for family-friendly STEM engagement each spring.
Online programs allow the Center to extend its educational reach beyond the FSU campus, with resources that can be implemented in a school classroom, out-of-school setting, or at home.
2019 marked the McAuliffe Center’s 25th year of service to the community. Visit our 25-Year Vision page to learn about the Center’s plans for the next 25 years.