Space Station Explorers

for Out-of-School Time (SSE4OST)

Thanks to a partnership between the McAuliffe Center and the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), it is now easier than ever for out-of-school time groups working with underserved middle and high school-aged youth to take advantage of the powerful STEM learning opportunities offered at the McAuliffe Center’s Framingham State University facility.

CASIS, managers of the US National Lab on board the International Space Station, is sponsoring a limited number of comprehensive STEM education programs at the McAuliffe Center, featuring the International Space Station as a unifying theme.

Included in the SSE4OST program:

  • Earth Odyssey mission simulation in the McAuliffe Center’s Challenger Learning Center facility
  • Exploration of our interconnected Habitat Earth in the Framingham State University Planetarium
  • Self-guided virtual tour of the International Space Station
  • One-day professional development workshop for OST educators (required)
  • Pre- and post-mission activities with educational materials
  • Info session on funding strategies for future McAuliffe Center visits

Massachusetts OST organizations serving financially disadvantaged youth are encouraged to apply. Programs will be offered during after school hours, select Saturdays, school vacation weeks, and summer. The SSE4OST program requires a minimum of 22, and maximum of 40, middle and high school-aged participants per booking. Larger groups will require multiple bookings.

A minimum of one educator from each OST organization must attend the SSE4OST PD workshop. Implementation of pre- and post-mission activities is required to ensure participants receive full educational impact.

OST organizations must provide transportation for all participants.

Application deadlines are as follows:

  • for fall/winter 2017 awards – Friday, October 13 and Thursday, November 30
  • for winter/spring 2018 awards – Friday, January 5
  • for summer 2018 awards – Friday, May 4

Organizations that do not qualify for the SSE4OST program may still book CLC missions and planetarium programs at standard rates.

Dates Available

For Out-of-School Time groups

Available Dates for the Earth Odyssey mission and Planetarium programs are:

  • Wednesday and Thursday Afternoons, after 2:30 p.m.
  • First and Second Saturday of each month.
  • February 20 – 23, 2018
  • April 17 – 20, 2018
  • June 18 – 29, 2018
  • July 9 – 31, 2018

Have a question about the SSE4OST program?

Email Julia Abbott, McAuliffe Center Education Specialist at

Contact Us

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