FoersterlingJessica Foersterling, Fifth grade teacher at St. Mary’s School in Alton was selected as one of Challenger Learning Centers “Inspiring Teachers.” She was nominated by a fellow teacher as someone who inspires her students, boys and girls alike, to pursue a lifelong engagement in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

On Thursday, the 30th anniversary of the loss of the space shuttle Challenger and its crew, a ceremony at the Challenger Learning Center in St. Louis, hosted by Boeing, was held to honor Foersterling, along with other local teachers who have continued the Challenger legacy of inspiring students.

St. Mary’s fifth grade students have spent the last three years travelling to the Challenger Center to take a simulated trip into outer-space. Before their visit, the students study the various roles of the astronauts which include STEM activities and all are given a specific role to play on the shuttle.