Challenger Center Speech

D.Peterson 8/10/00

Challenger Center Speech

Someone once said, “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” Folks, we’re creating the future today.

Because of this effort, the students of Alaska will have the same opportunity to take part in a Challenger Learning Center that children around the country have enjoyed for years. This is being built at just the right time. We can take advantage of all that has been learned by the other centers. We are skyrocketing towards the infrastructure in the state to handle the telecommunications. Finally we are ready as an educational and business community to work together on this partnership for all of Alaska’s children.

I wish I could put a dollar value on the impact of this center. Help me do that. How much would it be worth to you if your disenfranchised, sullen daughter was suddenly turned on to science and school because of a Challenger visit? How much would it be worth to you to have the very best science teachers in the world teaching here because of the access to the Challenger Center? How much would it be worth to you for your son who has always done well at math to be able to earn a scholarship to a top college because of his volunteer work at the Challenger Center? How much would it be worth to you as an employer to have those students applying for jobs really ready to work because the academic standards for all students have been raised?

Oh can’t put a price on these things. They are priceless and valuable. We’re here today for the cornerstone laying ceremony. Symbolically this is so important. The stone itself represents the bedrock on which this center is built and the corner represents how things have come together to make this happen.

I’ll leave you with the words of Benjamin Franklin that I think epitomize this project; “Energy and persistence conquer all things.” Thank you.