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Astronaut Dr. Jessica Meir, to commemorate 30th anniversary of Challenger Space Shuttle

January 12, 2016
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BANGOR - The Challenger Learning Center of Maine is pleased to announce that Maine's Astronaut from Caribou, Dr. Jessica Meir, will be the special guest of honor for the Center's commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the Challenger Space Shuttle's final flight. On Wednesday, Jan. 27, Dr. Meir will make a presentation for middle school students from across the state at a special assembly held at the Collins Center for the Arts; in collaboration with the Maine Science Festival she will greet the general public at an after-school Open House held at the Challenger Learning Center of Maine; and in the evening she will be the keynote speaker at a special reception for invited guests at the Challenger Center.

"We were told by our Challenger headquarters that it was unlikely that an astronaut would be available to come to Maine in January for our 30th anniversary commemoration, especially because many will be involved in national ceremonies. When we made our request to NASA, we didn't have our hopes up. Our level of excitement is in the stratosphere with the news that Dr. Jessica Meir is coming to Bangor," stated Susan Jonason, executive director. "Dr. Meir joins Maine Astronaut Chris Cassidy in serving as a role model for the thousands of students who come to the Challenger Center each year. To have her join us here in person, to celebrate Challenger's mission to inspire students, is the highest honor we can imagine!"

The day's events are being made possible through the sponsorship of Dorsey Furniture, Getchell Bros. Inc., and the University of Maine College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, with additional support provided by the Black Bear Inn & Conference Center, the Collins Center for the Arts and the Maine Science Festival.

Using space exploration as a theme and mission simulations as a vehicle, the Challenger Center for Space Science Education and its international network of more than 40 Challenger Learning Centers create positive educational experiences that raise students' expectations of success. This fosters a long-term interest in STEM, and inspires students to pursue studies and careers in these areas.

In Maine, the Challenger Learning Center is located at 30 Venture Way in Bangor, and may be reached by calling (207) 990-2900 or logging on to www.astronaut.org.

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