The giant awakens and the skies darken as ash and soot rain down
on a remote tropical island. The volcano—now a ticking time
bomb—has come to life once again and the residents of Montserrat
worry about their fate.
As flaming pebbles and lava begin to devastate
the countryside, emergency response teams learn a hurricane
is approaching. Fortunately, the Space Shuttle is dispatched
and makes repairs on a satellite to transmit real-time data
about the hurricane and volcano.
With this medley of disasters looming, Mission
Control scrambles to assemble a team of specialists to assist
the island residents.
- Will the hurricane make landfall?
- Will the volcano explode?
- Will the residents need to be evacuated?
Operation Montserrat is an electronic mission
that challenges students to apply their science and math skills
to an authentic crisis situation. During the two-hour e-Mission,
student specialists serve as members of a team: volcano, hurricane,
evacuation, or communication.
A Real-Life Crisis Brought into Your
Shifting to digital learning is critical to
the success of education in America. Operation Montserrat creates
an opportunity for teachers to apply various technologies and
provides necessary digital content lacking in so many computer
classrooms. The interactive distance learning nature of the
program also gives students the chance to experience learning
through simulations no matter how remote the school.
Operation Montserrat is a complete curricular
package of classroom content which connects a flight director
at the Challenger Learning Center with a classroom anywhere
in the world. With the help of computers, the Internet and a
small video camera, students interact with the flight director
to track the hurricane, predict volcanic activity and consider
The program meets important science and math
standards in grades 6 -12 and has applications to language arts
and social studies. Through pre-mission and mission day activities,
Operation Montserrat builds students’ enthusiasm for science
and math, improves students’ problem solving and critical
thinking skills and teaches students the importance of teamwork
Prior to the mission, teacher orientation
includes all the support materials necessary to run the program
effectively: daily lesson plans, standards, assessment, and
technology tips. The mission package also includes technology
support to help educators prepare their classrooms for mission
The Challenger Learning Center
The Challenger Learning Center is part of
a growing network of centers nationwide established in memory
of the crew of the ill-fated Challenger Space Shuttle. The center
provides a unique hands-on learning experience designed to foster
interest in math, science and technology.
The heart of any CLC is the on-site simulator.
It is comprised of a Space Station that gives students the simulated
experience of working in space, and a Mission Control, modeled
after NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.