Space Station Explorers

for Out-of-School Time (SSE4OST)

Thanks to a partnership between the McAuliffe Center, Boston Scientific 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. Boston Scientific aims to fuel the next generation of life science professionals by encouraging students to achieve in STEM.

One day of free programming includes:

  • 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 summer 2018 awards – Friday, May 4
  • For Fall 2018 awards -Friday, August 31
    • Programs available for STEM Week – October 22-27, 2018
  • For Winter 2019 awards – Friday, November 16
  • For Spring 2019 awards – Friday, January 18

*Please note we do accept applications on a rolling basis.

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:
*Programs are typically 4 hours in length 

  • Wednesday or Thursday Afternoons, after 2:30 p.m.
  • First or Second Saturday of each month.
  • July 9 – 31, 2018
  • September 2018
  • October 22 – 27, 2018 – STEM Week. Programs available every afternoon
  • February 19 – 22, 2019
  • April 16 – 19, 2019

Have a question about the SSE4OST program?

Email Julia Abbott, McAuliffe Center Education Specialist at

Contact Us

Have a question about one of our programs? Send us an email and we'll get back to you.

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