Today marks 30 years since the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger at Cape Canaveral in Florida, which took the lives of seven astronauts. One of those astronauts was educator Christa McAuliffe, who competed with thousands of teachers across the nation, to become the first teacher in space. McAuliffe and other crew members died aboard the Challenger, after an explosion, just over a minute into flight.
Understanding tragedy of national events is never an easy topic, especially for young students.
No matter how old you are, learning about an event like the explosion of the Challenger is never an easy topic. Teachers say it’s a balancing act on the needs of the child, parents and community.
Sam Davey Elementary school principal Bill Giese says helping young students understand an event like the Challenger is never cut and dry. It takes balance between what young students should learn for their class curriculum and what parents want them to see and understand. The elementary school has students from kindergarten to sixth grade. Giese recalls his time teaching 5th graders during 9-11.
“It was a difficult call. Do you allow children to see and watch and witness this historical event? And then balance that with their needs and emotions and those kinds of things.”
Giese adds the Challenger disaster hits close to home being an educator as Christa McAuliffe died on that flight
Ceremonies were held nationwide today to commemorate the 30 year anniversary.