Santikos Micronaut Center

John L. Santikos Micronaut Center

Since its grand opening on May 19, 2023, the John L. Santikos Micronaut Center has been flying simulated missions to the international space station with "Micronaut" classes in Kindergarten through 3rd grades. Students launch from San Antonio College and embark upon a mission to study the planet Earth, exploring twelve engaging student stations that STEM-ulate the Micronauts' curiosity and creativity.

These missions are flown for groups of 10-24 with as many as 12 chaperones per crew. Schools register in advance to include their mission date(s), and  teacher pre-mission training.  The pre-mission workshop covers the logistics of the program and provides simple classroom and at-home activities aligned to early childhood standards and TEKS in support of the mission's learning stations.

While Micronaut missions are not routinely available to the public, the Fiesta de Tierra Micronaut Family Mission became an official Fiesta event in 2023.  Parents purchase tickets to join the Micronaut crew of this Fiesta mission with their first to third grader.  The mission typically launches on the first Saturday of Fiesta.  

Don't miss an 'out of this world' opportunity to launch your child's learning! Speak with your child's teachers and schedule your visit to this exciting new center for STEAM learning.


Micronaut Mission Origins

The Micronaut Program was developed by the University of Tennessee Chattanooga Challenger STEM Learning Center in 2005 to meet the needs of younger explorers. The Challenger Learning Center of San Antonio opened at Brooks City base in the fall of 2000 and expanded its programming to include Micronauts missions in 2006 making this early childhood STEAM program available through a partnership with the City of San Antonio Human Services Department. After the Brooks center closed, the city remained active with San Antonio College staff developing the Scobee Education Center Micronaut missions first made available through the city’s HeadStart programs in spring 2015.




  • The Micronaut Program at the Scobee Education Center provides young children age 4 – 9 with an authentic STEAM experience as they travel through a simulated mission to the International Space Station. The mission models “Best Practices” in early childhood education that capitalizes on the young child’s natural curiosity to explore and learn about the world they are a part of. By making STEM education a focus of a child’s early education we begin to change the world one class at a time by instilling a lifelong passion to learn about and care for our planet earth. By inspiring and educating young children we contribute to our national goal of a scientifically literate society.

  • The Micronaut program consists of three components:  Teacher Education, Parent Education and the immersive simulated space experience for young children.  Prior to each mission, educators are provided with a day-long training program that introduces hands-on activities that may not be a part of the typical early childhood classroom.  Each activity is aligned with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) standards and best practices in early childhood education.  In a separate program, parents are provided with science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) at-home activities that are designed to reinforce the activities provided to the teachers. Together, teachers, parents and students create a unit that culminates with the Micronaut experience.

  • The Micronauts mission begins the moment they enter the space, with teachers briefing student teams on their mission and launch preparation. The simulated launch experience sets the sky-high expectations for the mission as the young astronauts dock at the International Space Station and undergo decontamination before enter the laboratory environment in space. Under the direction of the “Mission Commander”, Micronauts proceed to one of a dozen workstations with parent and teacher volunteers to complete their research and launch an important satellite to study the Earth from Space. At the completion of their mission, the Micronaut crew returns safely to earth ready to challenge new horizons.


Santikos Micronaut Missions are 90-minute experiences aligned to the state’s TEKS and early childhood standards.  Micronaut missions are reserved well in advance by school and community groups with a single mission costs $375/class of 10-24 students and up to 12 adult chaperones.

When available, the Najim Foundation and SAWS each sponsor Micronaut missions for Title I and SAWS customer schools respectively. The SAWS sponsorship may include class transportation costs with the Micronaut mission fees.  These sponsorships do not include planetarium programs.

Teachers bringing a Micronaut group are required to attend a Pre-Mission Training before their program.

 Please submit forms to and indicate if you qualify for consideration for one of the available class scholarships.

Micronaut Mission Registration Form




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Micronaut Learning Station Sponsors:

Catherine & Frances Burzik Foundation, Elliot’s Station            Physical World

Christopher Cheever                                                                      Geology

The Cheever Family in Memory of Charlie Cheever Jr.            Creation Station

Kens5                                                                                            Weather

Herb, Sheila, and David Klein                                                      Biology

Lockheed Martin Corporation                                                     Energy

Microsoft                                                                                       Engineering

Norden Trust, in Memory of Pearl N. and Lester A. Nordan     Geography

San Antonio Water Systems (SAWS)                                           Water Wonders

Scobee Education Center Advisory Committee                      Sun, Earth & Moon

Scobee Education Center Advisory Committee                  Micronaut Training Center

Available for Sponsorship                                                 Communications