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Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Long Duration Mission's Round One Top Squad Announced. DSC Goes to STEMFest. The Imaginarium.

Farpoint's Scorpio Squad is Named Top Squad in the First Round of the 2015 Long Duration Mission

     The first round in the Farpoint Voyager Club's 2015 Long Duration Mission program ended yesterday with the Kraken Squadron completing their mission.  I drove to Renaissance Academy after the mission to prepare for our club's 12:00 P.M. meeting.  Rarely does anyone beat me to the school on a meeting day.  Today was one of those rare occasions. A few cadets from the Nautilus Squad were sitting outside huddled in blankets patiently waiting for me to open the door; that's dedication.
Either that, or it was the only time they could get a ride.  I should have asked. 

Before announcing Top Squad, I divided the cadets into three groups.  The groups rotated through three stations, each taking 20 minutes.  Emily used my classroom to cover need to know mission details to prep the cadets for the second round of missions starting next Saturday.  Most of the Prometheus Squad were attentive as seen in the photo above.  The Prometheus Squad welcomed a new member into their team.  Bronson is see in the brown hoodie flashing the V for Victory sign.    

Brittney was the moderator in a team building exercise.  This year's LDM consists of five squads of highly motivated, intelligent, and creative cadets.  Working well as a team is the common weakness running like a thread through all their round one missions.  Brittney is the club's Super Coach.  She wants each team to work perfectly together by the time they reach the eighth and final round of the LDM in May.   You see the Kraken and Nautilus Squads in the photo above and below.    

Alex Debirk is an LDM curriculum writer. He put the cadets through the wringer in Round One with a few heavy duty math problems related to the storage of Romulan fuel onboard the Magellan.  Some squads did better than others, as was to be expected. 

Alex is seen above preparing the cadets for Round Two's complicated math problems.  This round finds the cadets and their starship mired in misfortune.  Communication with Starfleet Command using regular methods is a non starter at the moment.  The only viable solution is to somehow turn the ship without thrusters (those are out as well.... don't ask) and, using the ship's deflector dish, communicate with command using morse code.  The math is embedded in using pressurized air to accomplish the turn.  Highly complex is an understatement.  We shall see what the cadets do with this problem. 

Alex had their almost 100 percent attention.  My iPod is always a distraction.  Notice Sam has his phone up for recording purposes.  That's the Nautilus Squad for you. I don't think the cadets in the Kraken Squad are old enough to have cell phone of their own :)

A space and time VIP paid a visit during our meeting yesterday.  His Tardis was neatly parked in the corner of my  classroom.  

Now for some sad news. The Dalek peering from behind the Tardis successfully fired a few rounds before The Doctor could intercede.  Jonah and Zeddy were hit (Phoenix Squad - the two boys sitting on the front row). They may recover, but will they be themselves?  On the other hand, perhaps a neuron disruptor blast will end up doing them some good.  At least it couldn't hurt. 

The meeting ended with my announcement of Round One's Top Squad.  Everyone gathered in the Roussou Room. I stood at the front, got everyone's attention and spoke.  "Round One's Top Squad is....................  The silence in the room was broken with a cadet drum roll on the desk tops.  
The squads were all within 10 points if each other, it was that close.  Congratulations Scorpio, and congratulations to all our other squads for a job well done. 

Mr. Williamson 

Scorpio's Round One Bridge Positions.

Brently: First Officer
Nathan: Security
Trey: Damage Control
Cooper: Communications/Counterintelligence
Livvy: Engineer
Dalton: Strategic Operations
Megan: Chief of Operations / Flight Control
Caden: Surveillance
Cody: Support

Discovery Space Center To Participate at 

UVU's STEMFest this Month

The Starship Leo at Lakeview Academy
Utah's very first STEMFest is taking place this March.  Discovery Space Center will be attending to showcase their very first MOBILE SIMULATOR - the UCS TITAN.  The Titan is equipped with touch screen monitors, it has 15 crew stations, and its computers have the most advanced control set ever created.  This is an event you don't want to miss.
Entrance is free but space is limited.

The Imaginarium

I don't believe this cheese cake will ever expire.

Not your typical Barnes and Noble is it?

Never let anything mechanical know you are in a hurry.

Creative Advertising and a Public Service.

Brought to you by the Chocolate Growers of Earth.

Go Ahead.  Make his day.

A solar powered outdoor lounge chair

street art.

The only bus I'll take when not in a hurry.

It's called, "Outside".  Its that place your Mother tells you to go to all the time.

I knew there had to be a use for those discarded breath mint containers.

 Give that man a raise!

A Trailer Park.

Decorations compliments of soda bottle caps.

There was a malfunction in the Space Time Continuum Today.
Do not panic.  All will be well.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Team Kraken, The Last Squadron in the First Round of This Year's Long Duration Mission. The Imaginarium.

Hello Space Fans!
Something strange is happening outside.  White, fluffy, cotton like whisps are falling from the sky. It could be snow, but we've had so little of it this winter it is difficult to tell from memory alone. I could step outside to confirm my hypothesis but that would require effort on my part and that ain't gonna happen.

The Kraken Team's Long Duration Mission End Round One  

We ended the first round of missions in this school year's Long Duration Mission program today. The LDM program is sponsored by the Farpoint Voyager Club, headquartered at Renaissance Academy in Lehi - future home to the new Starship Voyager simulator. The Kraken Squadron was the fifth team in a field of five participating in this year's competition. 

Savannah at the Surveillance Station

Bradyn was the Captain.

New Cadet Noah was Security
 The Kraken team settled on a formal training program.  Bradyn felt it best considering the importance of getting the right start on your first run around the track.  I agreed with his decision.  When given the chance to formally train for something you're not sure of, do it.  

While the Krakens focused on their training, the Magellan LDM fight team caught up on the latest news, views, and gossip in the control room.  Present were Conner, Jacque, and Corinne - a member of the Kraken Support Team.  I want to do a shout out to myself for the generous donation of a box of donuts seen next to Jacque's shoulder.

The mission was well underway when this photo was taken.  I was up at my station at the back of the bridge feveriously taking notes on the team's performance.  Orion is in the foreground launching probes at the Counter Intelligence Station.  Congratulations to the Krakens for setting the Round One record for getting their probes launched first.  Mission objective one accomplished.   

Coaches Brittney and Christine converse on a topic of utmost importance as the crew skillfully works their way through the mission's opening sequences.  Capt. Shelley is seen talking to Kevin at the First Officer's station.  I believe I heard him say, "What did we get ourselves into?"

Capt. Bradyn is in the conference room negotiating with the Romulan representative.   Was he giving away the store?  You'll have to ask him that question.  

Conner:  "Captain, I want all your.."
Bradyn:  "Yes."
Conner:  "But you didn't let me finish.  I want..."
Bradyn:  "Yes."
Conner:  "Why are you saying YES?  You don't know.."
Bradyn:  "Yes." 

OK, I'm exaggerating here, but I can say this now that all the teams have finished their round one mission.  All five of the squadron captains were easy push overs in this round of negotiations.  
The reason was simple.  The captains never read their negotiation briefing papers before going into the meeting.  The papers sat at the captain's station - untouched.  Look back at the picture of Bradyn training. Notice the papers at the end of the desk?  Yep, that's them....

It was a mistake all five captains made.  I must confess something....  That little paper test gave the LDM staff great delight.  

The papers were found by a Romulan agent sitting at the captain's station and delivered post haste to the Romulan negotiator.  Conner is seen reading the secret papers.  This photo was taken moments before he exploded in rage and stomped out of the room ranting and raving about being stabbed in the back.  All five captains remained in the room dumbfounded.  

The Romulan and his aide waited impatiently on the bridge for the captain to gather his wits and join him. Kudo's to Dakota for refusing the follow the Romulan's orders to open a communication line to Gasko Station.  

Savannah was busy at her station doing calculations regarding electromagnetic shielding.  She was perhaps a bit too engrossed in her calculations to notice strange things happening on her sensors screen.  

Dakota (Communications) with Ben (Strategic Operations) working through a message.  Both did a great job.  Dakota was chosen MVP by his teammates at the end of the mission.  

Noah was shouldering two jobs - security and master of the printer.

Orion pictured in a moment of reflection.  I believe he is seen talking to himself......  Yes, LDM's have been known to push crew well past their breaking points :)

Hannah skillfully playing the Chief of Operations instrument.  Nothing got by Hannah on this mission.  

Dakota and First Officer Kevin in conversation.  Could they have been plotting to take the ship by force and have the captain arrested?  OR it may have been a simple question concerning an order the first officer had recently given.  Hummmmmm, what could it have been?

Noah doing his duty as Master of the Printer.

Dakota and Orion busy at their stations.  

Ben and Corinne. 

Captain Bradyn explaining the intricate details of warp drive theory... OR receiving information concerning the upcoming arrival of the Romulan Ambassador.

Captain Bradyn, First Officer Kevin and Orion pondering over the map of the asteroid field.  The floor was as good a place as anything else.

And finally, Damage Control Officer Travis working diligently to fix something broken.  That's the problem with the Magellan.  There is always something broken.  Poor Damage Control.....

I've said this before and I'll say it again.  It is a pleasure for me to get to work with some of Utah County's finest young men and women in this Long Duration Mission Program.  

OK, enough praise....  The Nautilus Squadron starts us off with Round Two next Saturday.  A round of applause to the Nautilus for always being first out of the gate.  They set the standard for the others to follow.

Mr. Williamson  

The Imaginarium