In in the early 1950s, a girl named June Kent borrowed an encyclopedia volume – the letter A. Reading that volume, she learned about astronomy, aeronautics and a new field called astronautics – sending machines and people into space. Years later, June Kent would marry test pilot Dick Scobee, and the two of them shared an excitement about Dick’s role in the space shuttle program.
On a bitterly cold morning in January 1986, June watched from the ground as the shuttle Challenger disintegrated shortly after liftoff, killing Dick and six of his colleagues. After the Challenger tragedy, June helped establish a living memorial to the crew and their curiosity.
Today, children in the U.S. or three other countries can attend one of the more than 40 Challenger Centers for Space Science Education. Programs are designed to teach science, technology, math and engineering concepts that children may put to use in their careers.
June Scobeee remarried – she’s June Scobee Rodgers now – and she lives in Chattanooga. In this year-end edition of The Method, Dr. Rodgers speaks with host Brandon Hollingsworth about continuing the work of the Challenger crew in teaching and inspiring young people.