News & Events

February 25th, 2017:

Challenge Charter School won the 2017 Honeywell Fiesta Bowl Aerospace Challenge!

Congratulations to the Challenge Charter School Team of Champions!

Team R.A.C.E: the Rapidly Ascending Cosmic Eagles:

Ruth Cox, Ada Stanley, Catherine Taylor, Emily Taylor, and Coach Amanda Dismukes

These four dynamic and dedicated Challenge Charter School 6th grade girls proved that they are UP TO THE CHALLENGE in this rigorous Space RACE!

Team R.A.C.E worked tirelessly doing research to prepare for the challenging mission: to “create a scale model and written report about an International Logistics Mission to colonize Phobos, a moon of Mars. The primary purpose of this mission is to develop a plan to establish a sustainable base on Phobos with minimal support from Earth. A secondary mission of the base is to develop an infrastructure to support Command, Control, and Communications (C3) for robotics and humans on Mars. The base must be able to support a crew of 24 people within 10 years supported by nine launches per year from Earth.”

On Monday February 6th, at the ASU Polytechnic Campus, R.A.C.E. wowed the Honeywell Engineer judges and took first place during the first round of the semi-finals. Approximately 300 schools, from across the state, mostly middle-school students, compete in the semi-finals. 6 Teams are selected to compete in the Finals. Challenge was very proud to be one of those finalists, less than 1 % of the competition makes it to the finals.

Finalists prepared a ten minute oral presentation to be delivered to a tough panel of judges on Saturday February 25th at the National Bank of Arizona Conference Center. Following their presentation, R.A.C.E. shone during a judging Q & A session.

While the judges deliberated, the teams enjoyed learning from a real astronaut, Ed Gibson. When someone in the audience asked Ed what the Earth looked like on the way to the moon, he said it was “Familiar, yet more grand and more beautiful.” Also, grand and beautiful, were the moments that followed when Team R.A.C.E. was announced as the winners of the 2017 Honeywell Fiesta Bowl Aerospace Challenge!

Later the judges said they stood out for their “teamwork and energy” & “knowing their stuff!”  Judges also told the girls that everyone has “butterflies” when they present in public and commended them that their “butterflies flew in formation.”

R.A.C.E. has made us all so very proud and won on all expenses paid trip to the US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville Alabama. They are going to Space Camp! They will also be making an on field appearance at the 2017-2018 Fiesta Bowl.Their perseverance, teamwork, and talent are an inspiration to us all. We appreciate the support, help, and collaboration of their families, their Coach, Mrs. Amanda Dismukes the CCS Technology Teacher, Ms. Meghan Sheehan, the 6th Grade Coordinator, and CCS Alumni Patrick Kontz.

Congratulations Team R.A.C.E! Thank you to the Fiesta Bowl, Honeywell, National Bank of Arizona, Astronaut Ed Gibson, the ASU Polytechnic Campus, Mesa and all of our community partners.



Nominate a favorite teacher for the 3TV Silver Apple Award! For complete rules and details please visit the AZfamily website!



Magic School Bus Night 

Magic School Bus Night was a big hit! Families and staff were able to see all the hard work CCS students and teachers put into decorating their classrooms and setting up science experiments for families to try.


Multicultural Day 

Thank you everyone who joined and participated in our annual Multicultural Day event. Families shared information mcdsiteabout their culture, foods, and traditions. Multicultural day is a time where the community comes together to learn and grow. We are thankful to have this opportunity each year and look forward to another successful event next year.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Turkey Trot

Thank you to everyone who helped make the 3rd Annual Turkey Trot such a huge success. The Turkey Trot is a fun and fit activity that raises funds for Challenge. For more intt-siteformation on how to become a sponsor call 602-938-5411.






Previous School Happenings


Lifetime Achievement Award


What a celebration! On October 28, 2015, the Arizona Charter Schools Association recognized CCS Founders, Greg and Pam Miller, with a Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Education.  The Millers received a standing ovation as they accepted this honor and spoke to the sold out crowd about their motivation and passion to ensure every child has every opportunity possible.






On November 20th,  CCS students showed us their best trot as they did laps around the field to raise money for new technology at Challenge.

A big thank you to all the volunteers and contributors that made our Second Annual Turkey Trot such a big success!




2nd Grade Math Activity


Second grade students were introduced to several new strategies to help them to add and subtract fluently.  To practice the subtraction strategies they’d learned, the second graders enjoyed turning the classroom into a bowling alley in order to play “Subtraction Bowling.” The kids took turns as pin setters, bowlers and score keepers.  After students in each lane set up the number of Dixie cup pins they wanted, up to 20, the bowlers used tennis balls to try and knock down as many pins as  possible.  The pin setters quickly scooped up the pins that had been knocked down, and the score keepers, had to subtract the number of pins that were left standing from the number they had started with to find out each bowler’s score.




3rd Grade Music Activity


Third grade learned about Time Signature. The students learned how to determine how many beats were in a measure when looking at a musical line combining math and music. Once they were able to identify the beats per measure, they created their own musical measures. We clapped out the different beats once everyone was finished. The students love it!




5th Grade Parachutes


After studying the ancient Maya, Aztec, and Inca, the fifth graders were challenged to design a parachute that would allow an Aztec prisoner to escape from the top of the    temple.  The students could use a variety of materials from tissues to construction paper and dental floss to yarn, and they could design it in any shape or size they felt would work.

Once completed, the students went to test them out!





Dance Party


First Friday Dance Party is a BLAST!  Every 1st Friday of each month at 8:10AM, Principal Miller turns the music on and dances her way around campus with our CCS Eagles. Everyone gets to show their best dance moves before the school day begins.  We have so much fun!





Civic Engagement button 2013-2014 (2)

Congratulations to the Challenge Charter School community! CCS is the only elementary school in the State to be recognized for the highest level of Excellence in Civic Engagement by the AZ Department of Education! CCS held an essay and speech contest for 6th graders to select the student who would represent the school during the awards ceremony on Constitution Day: September 17th, 2014. All of the speeches were excellent!! They were all bound in a book and given to the Department during the ceremony and can be viewed by using the included link and all of the students who participated received a Principal’s Pride Award. Congratulations to Gracie Senseman! She received the most student votes and did a great job representing CCS on the 17th giving her speech in front of all of the other schools, the Department of Education and Superintendent Huppenthal!   To read all of the speeches given during the 6th grade competition see our 6th grade page! For more information about the award please see the Press Release put out by the AZ Dept. of Education.









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