Contact us for more information on simulator based STEM experiential education opportunities including the Voyager Space Club for students. spacecamputah@gmail.com

Sunday, August 21, 2016

See Renaissance Academy's New USS Voyager in Action. Pictures and Video. Theater Imaginarium.

USS Voyager Test Mission. August 18

     Renaissance Academy's USS Voyager simulator is undergoing test missions to determine whether or not the starship is space worthy. Two shakedown missions were held last week.  The first was of particular interest because of the crew's age.  Up until now, older teens and adults composed the test crews. Fifth and sixth graders made up Thursday's crew. We like to test our missions on students in those grades because they are the focus for our missions.  We can simplify a mission for younger audiences if necessary. Complicating a mission with more story elements and restricting help is how we compensate for older groups.    



     Alex DeBirk was the flight director assisted by Isaac, Spencer, and Drake. Isaac's younger brother played the character role.  There were a few hiccups. Midpoint through the mission the system crashed. The crew didn't know thanks to the Voyager's well trained staff. Isaac jumped into gear and got the problem resolved in a couple minutes.  We think we figured out the cause.
     2FX (second chair to those not familiar with Voyager vocabulary) is challenging. Spencer's face tells it all.  We are wondering how to lighten the 2FX's load.  He is responsible for second stories, handling all bridge communication calls, tracking the complicated damage control system, keeping the crew busy on the bridge, playing the computer for the ship's engineering room and sick bay, and directing the actors.   


The crew adapted well to the environment and got right into the mission.


Isaac's little brother was fantastic in his role.  Here he is hiding and scared in the Voyager's Sick Bay.


     Voyager Security stayed with him.  This little security guard had his phaser ready for any development.  Multiple areas makes the new USS Voyager unique among its sister ships.  It has a bridge, briefing room, sick bay, engineering, transition room, brig, and a couple nice hallways.   These multiple areas remind us why the original USS Voyager at the Christa McAluiffe Space Education Center was so successful and loved by staff and crew alike.    


     Security felt uneasy having the ship's young alien visitor so far removed from the bridge. He moved him to Brig / Containment right off the bridge.  The captain approved. He could question the youngling while still being within earshot of the ship's nerve center. 
     A few more test missions are scheduled.  The Voyager's maiden voyage will be scheduled if the ship receives its space license from Fleet Command. Renaissance Academy students will then sign up for their Long Duration Missions and the USS Voyager will take to the skies once again.  
     Don't forget to book your private mission on the Voyager. Watch for news on how and when right here on The Troubadour.

Mr. Williamson 

Watch the Young Test Crew in Action




Imaginarium Theater

Saturday, August 20, 2016

CMSEC Summer Space Camps Recognitions and Honors. Mr. Williamson Named TimeLord. The Imaginarium.

     The summer space camp season is officially over at the Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center in Pleasant Grove.  Hundreds of campers attended, had a fantastic time adventuring throughout the galaxy, and returned home into the arms of their families - alive and none the worse for the wear.  
     With the campers home and getting ready for the first day of school, Space Center Director James Porter called an Honor's Night gathering to recognize and reward the staff and volunteers for their hard work and tireless dedication to the spacefaring cause.  The Troubadour was on hand to record the honors.  


     What better way to start a recognition program than a friendly reminder to keep the ships tidy.  Yes, a clean ship is a happy ship.  That phrase was most often heard in the USS Voyager; spoken by a certain Voyager flight director and Space Center director who grew tired of dealing with a staff of teen volunteers and supervisors whose faces were well known in the Space Center community and by the Environment Protection Agency as the nation's number one violators of most EPA federal regulations.  



     This is Erin. That is Orion.  They are both rudely pointing to Orion's new Galileo pin (everyone knows it's rude to point).  Orion is a certified Galilean.  Orion is sporting a Farpoint Voyager's t-shirt designed by the House of Williamson and available exclusively at Academy Renaissance Par Le Trail in a beautiful Lehi suburb behind The Tire Guys.    


     This is Jon. That is Audrey.  Audrey earned her Phoenix pin.  Jon has spent so many years cooped up in dark and dank mission control rooms that his eyesight has been compromised.  Audrey fears the pin's needle - remembering Jon's tendency to miss the shirt and attach the pin to a small fold of flesh.


     This is Mr. Porter. That is Lindsey.  Lindsey is receiving her Magellan pin for outstanding accomplishments.  She emerged unscathed from a summer of dealing this Mr. Porter's sarcasm and Jon's tired jokes.  Lindsey is best known for directing the Space Center's Acting Guild, and for forever asking everyone she comes across, "What was the highlight of your day?"  


     This is Natalie. That is Ian.  Ian received his Yellow Shirt for cowardice in the face of campers. In addition to the shirt, he earned his Odyssey Pin.  Ian's second job, in addition to helping in the Odyssey, is the Space Center's bouncer.  There is only one thing Ian found more intimidating than himself - a phaser armed twelve year old with serious attitude.   


      This is Ari, That is Alex.  They earned their StarFighter badges; they've volunteered over 100 hours at the Space Center and still sport smiles.  They are amazing.  


     Alex is double deserving and received double dessert.   He is both a StarFighter and an Apprentice.   


     Mason earned his "Most Interesting and Unusual Hats" badge at the Honor's Night.  His collection of hats is only rivaled by Imelda Marcos' shoe collection - and she had the entire Filipino treasure at her disposal.  
     I should also add that Mason was given the Hitchhiker badge for volunteering over 500 hours at the Space Center.  Way to go Mason.  And nice hat.


     There were so many awards and honors that an intermission was requested so the audience could use the facilities and dream Mr. Porter  would call their name next.    


     This is Audrey. That is Mr. Porter.  Audrey was proclaimed "Defender of the Universe!"  after having logged 1000 volunteer hours at the Space Center.  Recipients of the Defender of the Universe badge also receive one stale WalMart roll usually supplied by Mr. Williamson on one of his Saturday afternoon Space Center visits.  
     Up until Honor's Night, not one Timelord Badge had been presented; understandably so considering 2000 plus hours of volunteering is required to earn the badge.  That drought of TimeLord Badges was broken with a surprising presentation to ME!  Yes, Mr. Williamson earned the coveted TimeLord Badge.  



     This is Mr. Williamson. That is Mr. Porter.  A rip in space and time was risked for the historic handshake of two Space Center directors - a former and a current. Space/time cannot handle that much awesomeness coming in contact.  We were warned by NASA not to let it happen, but Mr. Porter felt the historic nature of the occasion was worth the risk.  


     Not only did I receive the TimeLord badge, I was also awarded every other badge in the collection!  I was proclaimed the Master of Everything Not Nailed Down to a Solid Surface!  I couldn't help myself and pridefully took a walk down the runway, showing off my honors for all the peasants to see.


      After the presentation I returned to the journalist's corner from where I was covering the event.  Suddenly a strange chill went through me, as if a thousand evil thoughts had been unleashed in my direction.  Somebody was more than jealous of my honors. I felt danger was near and kept my distance from those not so honored for the rest of the evening.  Who was harboring mischief against the Founder and recently awarded Master of Everything Not Nailed Down to a Solid Surface?


     This is Mr. Porter. That is Tyler.  Tyler was awarded his Starfighter and Apprenticeship badges. Tyler also received multiple pats on the back for contributing the trophies used in the evening's honors.  And, if we read Mr. Porter's face correctly, we can conclude that Tyler has a vice crushing handshake.   


     This is Scott. That is Mr. Porter.  Scott was named "Summer Lord of the Votes" and Buttkissing Supremo!  He knows how to get the campers on his side with a kind comment here and a pat on the back there.  Good job Scott!



     Christine was name Best Summer Flight Director for her work as Galileo Set Director!  What a trophy!  I asked her if she'd like to exchange her trophy for my TimeLord badge and "Master of Everything Not Nailed Down to a Solid Surface" title.  She declined and told me to take a hike. Of course she's jealous. Congratulations Christine!     



     The Galileo won Best Summer Story Award for the mission Deception.  Receiving the award was Christine, Erin, and the guy in the back is Jake. Jake recently learned to fly the Galileo. Jake is about to leave on an LDS mission to Poland.  I've always said the only way to really understand the Galileo is to read and speak Polish.  Jake will definitely have an advantage over Christine and Erin when he returns.  


The summer simulator rankings.  Come on Phoenix!  Get your act together.  Look at that point spread. Embarrassing :)


      Leave it to Scott to ignore all the other awards being presented and feverishly post a picture of himself with a made it up on the spot quote on the Space Center's staff website.  Will his head ever shrink to normal?  OK, so you're summer Lord of the Votes.  That's something, but not "Master of Everything Not Nailed Down to a Solid Surface" something!  


     Just when we thought the night was winding down, Mr. Porter beckons patience for a few other presentations.
     Yes, Lindsey was given a blue shirt. She is a supervisor!  Gee, I wonder what the highlight of her day was?


     And just so she wouldn't feel lonely, Mr. Porter gave Audrey and Scott blue shirts!  They were just raining down from heaven. 


     What!?  Not another blue shirt!  Yes folks, Mr. Porter couldn't take the Yellow Shirt any longer and out of desperation, gave a blue shirt to Ian.  The blues just kept coming and coming.  There might have been one wet eye somewhere in the audience.


     Nicole was honored by Mr. Porter and given the "She Saved My Bacon" Award for giving up a big chunk of her summer to flight direct the Magellan.  Unfortunately Nicole had to resign. She has teaching responsibilities in the Heber School District.  


     Jon was given the "Mr. Porter's Right Hand Man" award for holding Mr. Porter's right hand through large chunks of the Darmok Trials missions.  Jon's touch can calm most troubled waters and anxious Space Center Directors.  


     Tickets were drawn for interesting prizes picked out by Audrey and Scott at our local WalMart.


      I have to thank Audrey and Scott for thinking of me when they purchased the evening's refreshments.  I have a reputation for WalMart bulk rolls. They're cheap and provide no nutrients. I bought them for one purpose only - to fill a volunteer's empty stomach on those long overnight camps.  


     Spending time with the Space Center community is always fun.  Just look at them all cleaned up, fed, and happy.  
     The Space Center is a happy place.  The Space Center is a safe and nurturing place.  It hosts the perfect environment for teens wanting to volunteer in the community and learn working skills. Contact the Space Center if you have an interest in volunteering.   spacecenter.alpineschools.org

Mr. Williamson 

The Imaginarium