The space center occupies two second-floor classrooms and features movie projectors, computers and televisions, allowing students to remotely control robots in a Mars-like setting in the school’s basement boiler room.
The Space Center blends S.T.E.M. learning (a discipline focusing on Science, Technology Engineering and Mathematics) in the classroom with hands-on, state-of-the-art robotics taught in conjunction with student teachers from Lehigh University. The Center features a Mission Control Center — designed as a life-like replica of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. In the Mission Control Center, students can use wireless, remote-control hookups to manipulate robots to pick up and return rocks through the bumpy hills and valleys of the Mars-like terrain located two-floors below in the Mars Yard.
In the room adjacent to the Mission Control is a new Professional Development Center where students can participate in small team projects, or where teachers can participate in workshops and training. According to Allentown School District, Harrison-Morton has the added distinction of being a NASA Explorer School, which qualifies it to receive educational materials from the space agency and makes this training center an extraordinary resource to the community.
The Space Center, which is believed to be the only such educational/research facility at this level anywhere in the country, opened May 19 2010, with the dedication ceremonies attended by the entire HMMS student body, along with Allentown School District officials, Lehigh University professors, NASA representatives and local business leaders including representatives from CSI.