Christa McAuliffe Center for Integrated Science Learning
100 State Street
Framingham, MA 01701
The McAuliffe Center is a science center located within Framingham State University (FSU) and includes a Challenger Learning Center, FSU’s digital planetarium and an exhibit hall. The Center is the hub for FSU’s informal STEM education, and its service area includes the MetroWest region in Massachusetts that surrounds FSU but has historically reached the whole state of Massachusetts. The McAuliffe Center vision is to foster a community of lifelong learners by providing innovative, integrated STEM pedagogies, practices, and programs that are accessible to all audiences. The mission is to be a leader across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in K-16 integrated STEM learning through the sharing of resources, building of partnerships, and the advancement of educational practices.
The Center was established in 1986 to honor the legacy of FSU Alumna Christa McAuliffe, the first teacher in space. In 1994 the Center installed the Challenger Learning Center, one of 42 sister installations world-wide, part of the Challenger Center network. The MetroWest STEM Education Network, one of nine regional state networks created to foster the goals the Massachusetts STEM Council, started in 2007 with the McAuliffe Center as its lead for the region. The new FSU new digital planetarium opened in 2012. The Center started the annual community STEM festival, “Science on State Street” started in 2015. The McAuliffe Center team is devoted to promoting and increasing diversity and equity in STEM education by sharing its resources and building collaborations with organizations that serve audiences historically underrepresented in STEM.