S. Christa McAuliffe was selected as the primary candidate for the NASA Teacher in Space project on July 19, 1985. Vice President George Bush announced that McAuliffe was the unanimous choice of NASA, selected from over 11,000 applicants, to be the first Teacher in Space. McAuliffe's responsibility on the Challenger mission was to teach lessons from space via satellite to school children across the United States. Project "Classroom Earth" consisted of two lessons: "The Ultimate Field Trip" and "Where We've Been, Where We're Going, and Why?" As the first Teacher in Space, McAullife's goal was to "humanize the Space Age by giving a perspective from a non-astronaut." McAuliffe began teaching in 1970 in Concord, New Hampshire. She taught American History and English to 7th and 8th graders; and American History, Economics, Law, and Social Studies to high school students. After developing her own curriculum, she also taught a new course called "The American Woman." McAuliffe earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Framingham State College, Massachusetts, in 1970, and a Master's degree in Education from Bowie State College in Maryland eight years later. Christa McAuliffe was born on September 2, 1948, in Boston, Massachusetts. She is survived by her husband, Steven J. McAuliffe, and their two children, Scott and Caroline.
Challenger Center for Space Science Education