Congressman Tom Reed visits the Challenger Learning Center

The Dresser-Rand Challenger Learning Center at St. Bonaventure University (DRCLC) welcomed Congressman Tom Reed on Tuesday, May 29th. Congressman Reed visited the Center for a tour to see the many improvements that have been made and to see the additional STEM offerings. Improvements have included enclosing S.P.A.C.E. Academy (Space Program and Curriculum Enrichment), enclosing New World 2.0 and replacing flooring in New World 2.0. These improvements have been made with the help of Otis Eastern and the Cattaraugus Community Region Foundation grant.

One of our newest STEM offerings is New World 2.0 which allows younger students to suit up (helmet, backpack, gloves) and voyage to a newly discovered planet via our transporter room and examine the planet for "signs of life" (water, rocks, geodes, fossils, etc.). We have also added a media component and 3D printing to our simulations.

During the visit, Director/Commander Fred Welch spoke about our upcoming 1,000th mission and that DRCLC will begin its 10th year this July.

Along with Congressman Reed, representatives from his office were in attendance as well as many DRCLC Board members, Tony Giannicchi the Allegany-Limestone Superintendent and Kimberly Moore the Allegany-Limestone Elementary School Principal.

Area Legislators Visit in Hopes of Providing Funding

“As a retired school teacher, I couldn’t think of anything that would have been cooler than to bring my classes down here...,” said Linda Edstrom, R-Olean.  Area Legislators toured the facility as part of the Center’s Appeal for Funding to upgrade the current software and hardware.  “We offer something that the schools don’t have…,” said Sharon Bushnell, one of the Center’s flight commanders.  However, the current system is dated, and is overdue for an upgrade.  The funding would allow the Center to offer programs that better equip students with the knowledge, confidence, and skill sets that shape our nation’s future.  Students would also have the opportunity for more advanced role-playing strategies, thus, reinforcing and supporting classroom learning.