Scobee Education Center
About the Center
The Scobee Education Center at San Antonio College is a 22,000 square foot facility combining the Scobee Planetarium, a first-of-its-kind, next-generation Challenger Learning Center and a rooftop star deck and observatory.
Most programming is reserved by school and community groups Monday through Thursday with the public programs only offered in the planetarium on Friday evenings with presentations at 6:30, 7:30 and 9 p.m.
The Center was established in memory of the lives of the seven crew members of the Space Shuttle Challenger/STS-51L "Teacher in Space" mission and named after shuttle commander Francis R. (Dick) Scobee and his family. Both Commander Scobee and his wife, Dr. June Scobee Rodgers, were students at San Antonio College.
The Scobee Education Center aims to carry on the Space Shuttle Challenger crews educational mission - to spark interest and joy in science, technology, engineering and math. The Scobee Education Center is dedicated to enriching the lives of children and adults alike by fostering a love of science and astronomy through hands-on and minds-on experiential education.
Opened in October 2014, the Scobee Education Center has quickly become a hub for space science education in the South Texas region.
For more information visit sacscobee.org.
- Immersive Simulation Experiences
- School and Public Planetarium Shows
- "Micronauts" Early Childhood Programs
- Corporate Team Building for groups of 20-32
- Public Missions: Valentine's Day and Spring Mission
- Special Event Facility Rental
- Out in Space, Down to Earth Educator Conference
Grants for Educators
Grants for Challenger, Micronaut and Scobee Planetarium programming are available for educators.
The programs at the Scobee Education Center bring science to life, giving students and their teachers, exciting opportunities to explore STEM subjects in a state-of-the-art learning environment. We have several grant opportunities for school groups serving underserved and underrepresented students. Each funding source has a specific number available missions and planetarium programs. Professional development for teachers is a part of each Challenger missions grant. Grant applications can be download in our Facebook group for educators, Scobee Education Center Community Educators, and are reviewed in the order received.
All grant funds have been allocated for 2018-19. As new funds become available opportunities will be posted.
The Scobee Education Center works with area foundations and organizations to seek out funds to provide mission and planetarium program scholarships for teachers and their classes.
For the 2019-20 academic year
The AFCEA Alamo Chapter has provided funding for two scholarships specifically for Harlendale ISD classes and two other classes to attend both a planetarium presentation and Challenger mission. The applications for these opportunities will be made available in September 2019.
Other applications have been submitted for additional resources and will be posted if granted.
Since 1961, two million San Antonio school children and community members have learned about stars, planets, black holes and distant galaxies at the Scobee Planetarium. With the extensive renovation completed in 2014, the Scobee Planetarium now offers a more dynamic experience to even more visitors. Planetarium renovations include 100 individual reclined seats, a new light and sound system and the most advanced digital projection system.
In addition to daily field trip presentations for all grades, the Scobee Planetarium offers Friday night public presentations at 6:30 (Family Showing), 7:30 The Sky Tonight live presentation and 9:00 movie presentation. Children must be 6 yrs or older to be admitted to the 7:30 & 9:00pm programs.
Tickets are currently credit card, cash or check only and sold 30 minutes prior to the presentation in our ticket booth. Sorry, no debit sales at this time. All members of the party should be present when tickets are purchased, once the doors close, no one is admitted late to the presentation.
Challenger Learning Center
The Challenger Learning Center features an interactive computer simulator that transports students to a cutting edge Mission Control room and a high-tech Space Station.
The Challenger Learning Center serves primarily as a dynamic introduction to STEM careers for elementary and middle school students. Students work as teams of engineers and scientists, reinforcing their classroom science and math lessons as they work together to collect Earth science data such as effects of the water cycle on our planet and the relationship between our sun's energy and the Earth. They employ teamwork and practice effective communication as they build a new Earth Observing Satellite and launch it before returning to Earth.
In 2017, Lunar Quest became a higher grade level mission to the moon to study geology on Moon Base Alpha. Students in the upper middle school grades and high school are most appropriate for this mission. In the fall of 2017, Expedition Mars joins the Challenger Learning Center selections. Launching from the Martian moon Phobos astronaut crews set out to study the surface and establish new experiments. This newest Challenger mission is suitable for 4-5 graders, as well as middle school.
The Challenger Learning Center also hosts multiple missions open to the public throughout the year, as well as corporate team-building and training events. The spring mission held during the weeks of Fiesta will take place on April 20th. Tickets are $25 per person and may be purchased at:
Housed atop the iconic blue Charles E. Cheever Jr. Star Tower, the observatory houses a 10-inch refractor telescope and features a 360-degree rotating dome and panel that opens 90-degrees, enabling star gazing in any direction. The use of the Scanlan Foundation Observatory telescope typically follows the 9:00pm planetarium program on Friday evenings and is very much dependent upon the weather.
The adjacent Powell Star Deck accommodates up to 50 guests for a rooftop star gazing experience or an outdoor classroom for astronomy students.
The Scobee Education Center at San Antonio College is located at 1819 N. Main Ave (78212).
As a result of the SAC Campus Revitalization Project starting in 2019, parking is available in unreserved spaces in Lots 16, 23 and the five-level parking garage off of N. Main Ave. Guests will need to walk through campus to the west, past the Moody Learning Center and Chance Academic Centers. Our center is nestled in the center of campus across from the Candler Gyms and Kinesthetic Center and between the Nail Technical and Chemistry & Geology Buildings. Look for the distinctive blue Cheever Star Tower at the corner of our building and the terrace where our front doors are located.
Google Map Location: https://tinyurl.com/scobeeeducationcenter
For more information or to make a field trip reservation, contact:
Monica Gutierrez, Administrative Services Specialist
Reservations Email: sac-ScobeeCtr@alamo.edu
Rick Varner, Center Director
For information regarding sponsorship of events, programs, or exhibits, contact:
Natasha Sobers, Coordinator of Program Development
For more information about the Scobee Planetarium, contact:
Michelle Risse, Planétarium Coordinator
For more information about Challenger Learning Center missions and education programs, contact:
Jennifer Becerra, Lead Flight Director/Academic Program Coordinator
Celina Terrones, Academic Program Specialist
Campus mailing address (not physical location)
San Antonio College campus
1819 N. Main Ave
San Antonio, TX 78212
Physically located approximately 1 block east of the intersection of San Pedro Ave. and West Park Street. Enter campus east on W. Park Ave. Free parking in non-reserved spaces is available in Lot 21 and Lot 29. Look for the large blue Charlie Cheever Jr Star Tower across Lot 21 to your left.