SOS and the Teacher In Space legacy
of astronaut Christa McAuliffe

Crew of Shuttle Challenger. Mission 51-L
All lost, seventy-three seconds after launch – January 28, 1986

(top) El Onizuka, Christa McAuliffe, Greg Jervis, and Judy Resnik
(bottom) Mike Smith, Dick Scobee, and Ron McNair

Picture of the Crew

SOS is modeled after the highly successful 23-year run of the Forest Watch Program.Forest Watch was developed to serve as a legacy to Christa McAuliffe and her Teacher In Space lessons never taught, when she and the Challenger crew were lost in 1986. The idea for Forest Watch began in the spring of 1988, when Phil Browne’s Biology II students began “ground truthing” high elevation red spruce in conjunction with Dr. Barry Rock’s acid precipitation remote sensing studies. In 1991, in an effort to include many more schools, the study shifted to the White Pine, a bioindicator of ozone (smog) damage - Forest Watch was born.


In addition to being the model for SOS, Forest Watch has been the model for other successful student-scientist partnerships:

Logo of SOS