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LUMBERTON, NJ,- Visitors to the Air Victory Museum can now sit behind the controls of a “space shuttle” courtesy of Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] and the Educational Information & Resource Center (EIRC).

Students, schools and educational organizations visiting the Lumberton museum can now simulate space missions, interacting with controls and displays, aboard a 14-foot-long and nine-foot-tall, full-scale mock-up of a space shuttle cabin. The museum will host the shuttle mock-up until EIRC moves the display to its permanent home at the future Challenger Learning Center in Mt. Laurel.

The donated space shuttle mock-up was originally constructed by Lockheed Martin for use in demonstrations. When he discovered the display was no longer being used, George Bunk, an employee at Lockheed Martin’s Moorestown facility, recognized the opportunity to donate the mock-up toward the EIRC’s Challenger Learning Center initiative.

“When I saw it, I knew the Space Shuttle mock-up would be just the ticket for the new Challenger Learning Center,” said Bunk, who also once worked in the space program at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

“Through the second life we’re giving it, the mock-up will help promote the tremendous future career opportunities available in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.”

In 2005, Lockheed Martin, kicked off the EIRC’s fundraising campaign for the Challenger Center with a $500,000 grant. Once completed, the Center will become a regional hub offering professional development for teachers and providing innovative programs to attract and retain student interest in the STEM subject areas. Action labs at the Center will be designed to familiarize students and teachers with robotics and other cutting edge technologies.

EIRC is a public agency specializing in education-related programs and services for parents, schools, communities, nonprofit organizations and privately held businesses throughout New Jersey.


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