Contact Victor Williamson with your questions about simulator based experiential education programs for your school.
SpaceCampUtah@gmail.com

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Apollo Rising, A New Mr. Williamson Mission Told for the First Time. My Classroom is Ready for my 40th Year in Education. New are Trained as the Old Leave. Imaginarium Theater.

 


August 6, 2022
     My new mission Apollo Rising was told for the first time to the public on August 6. It joins the Space EdVenture's mission library along with my other missions currently being told at various space centers:  Intolerance, Children of Perikoi, Cry in the Dark, Canada, Fugitive, Supernova, Midnight Rescue, etc.  Apollo Rising was previously flown the day before to The Space Place's staff and volunteers.  Bracken Funk and I ran the test mission on the Friday.  Bracken Funk ran the mission on Saturday to the public group.  The mission went flawlessly, which is unusual for the first couple tellings of a new mission. 
          
The First Public Group to do Apollo Rising
    
      Of course I'd like to tell you about the mission but considering some of you may fly the mission on the Starship Voyager in the future, I'll not way a word.  Suffice to say the group's post mission debriefing was positive. They enjoyed the mission. 

The Voyager Apollo Rising Staff
Megan, Bracken, Dylan, Kaden, David, and Sawyer

     Go to SpaceCampUtah.org to book a group mission and do Apollo Rising. We would love to have you.

My Classroom at Renaissance Academy is Set Up For Another Year of 6th Grade and Young Astronauts and Voyager Clubs 
  

     Yes it was a pain to move classrooms but it is done and I'm all set up in Renaissance Academy's middle school building. Room 304 is my new home away from home.  It is pretty much a copy of my other room minus the great view I use to have on the second floor. My new view is the playground and a large vacant piece of weed infested land which will soon be converted into basketball courts.  
     I'll have over 90 sixth graders in my math and history classes.  That breaks down to 4 math periods and two history periods with one prep period at the end of the day.  I met several of my new students at the Back to School Open House last Thursday.  They look tanned, happy, and as excited to return to school as an 11 year old can be.
     My old 'Love Me' wall is back behind my desk. The space center old timers know what I'm talking about.  
     School starts Tuesday.  I'm back in the saddle again for my 40th Year in Education!

Training New Staff.  Old Ones Leave and New Ones Come.  

Megan Teaching Mark and Jackson the Fine Art
of the IIFX Station

     Megan Warner is Bracken Funk's favorite IIfx (2nd chair flight control station) person and he will tell you so if you ask.
She runs excellent 2nd stories, has good communication characters, and has the uncanny ability to read his mind during a mission.  Now all we have to do at The Space Place is get all that knowledge out of Megan's head and into the heads of Mark and Jackson, two Voyager supervisors.  Megan can't be to all the Voyager's missions, especially when the Young Astronaut and Voyager Clubs start again in September.  She has her real job that keeps her busy enough.  And with Livy Charles gone, the Voyager needs a few more excellent IIfxers.       Working at Utah County's space centers takes skill and practice; lots of practice.  It is an art passed down through the generations by direct training and example.  Both Mark and Jackson will do well; they've proven that from their many years of volunteering and staffing our missions.

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Sunday, August 7, 2022

Old Set Directors Never Die, They Just Fade Into the Abyss..... Goodbye Natalie and Connor. The Space Place Volunteers and Staff Fly the Magellan. Cassini Sickbay is Outfitted with New Equipment. Imaginarium Theater.


      Senior Flight Directors, staff, and abnormally long term volunteers whose service to the Space Center was considered exemplary, are eligible for post Space Center service care in The Gone Boldly Treatment Center for Retired Space Center Staff.  GBTC offers both outpatient and inpatient care.                    Residential services are reserved for those who find themselves confused, bewildered, challenged by reality, and most importantly - unreliable in the bathroom (brought on by holding it too long during prolonged battle scenes or elongated, multi character narratives - where the flight director engages in conversations with himself as another character; which introduces us to another common Flight Director malady - schizophrenia).


Natalie and Conner

     Joining the current long term residents are Natalie Anderson and Connor Larsen, both of whom retired from Space Center service this last week.  Natalie was the Odyssey's Set Director. Connor held the same position in the Magellan.  

     It is nice when our flight and set directors realize their need for additional rest and time to reflect on their rewarding (though not so profitable) careers in space service.  The Gone Boldly Treatment Center for Retired Space Center Staff offers that time to decompress and acclimatize back into civilian life.  



     I stopped by the Space Center to take a few photos of them in their control rooms before the Home's van arrived to carry them away.  


     I wanted to be sure to capture Natalie's last summer camp scores.  She took first place!  What a way to leave, when you are at your peak and have data to prove it despite what some may say :)  
     Natalie is a published author.  In the picture above you see her holding her book (the sales of which go towards her therapeutic care at the GBTC).      


     Natalie's Odyssey staff (and others) signed her book hoping their kind notes and signatures will spur her memory of the good times they shared.  Connor's Magellan staff (and others) did the same.  Connor isn't an author so a home made card did the trick.  Connor is a masterful organist who knows how to bring the spirit to both Catholic and Lutheran Sunday services. People travel from several blocks to hear him play in North Carolina (his school year home).  

Natalie's first flight as a certified Odyssey Flight Director
March 2015
  
Connor showing off his flight director skills on the original Magellan

Natalie and Connor as they looked in 2011   

     If you're ever in the area, please stop by the Gone Boldly Treatment Center for Retired Space Center Staff and visit Natalie and Conner. And while you're there, please stop in to visit the home's other long term guests who worked so hard to entertain and teach you over the years. The residents love seeing their former campers, volunteers, and staff. They'll love you even more if you'll sit patiently and listen to hours of mission stories long gone. Don't worry the time, they are always sedated before visiting hours. Part way into a story they'll nod off giving you a chance to quietly escape;  respectfully of course.

Volunteers and Staff from The Space Place at Renaissance Academy Fly the Magellan for the Extended Camp   

     "That mission was fantastic!" is the general consensus spoken by the many The Space Place staff who attended the CMSC's extended camp last week.  They made up half the crew of the Magellan.  Connor was the flight director. It was his last mission as a flight and set director.  The staff and volunteers made the mission fun and the away missions were "the best".  Thank you to the Magellan staff for doing such a good job. For most of them, the camp was their first introduction to the Space Center. They've heard me talking about it at Renaissance and they wanted to experience it for themselves.  




The Cassini's Sick Bay is Issued New Equipment from Starfleet Medical  


     Just in time for the school year field trip season, the Cassini received two new pieces of equipment from Starfleet Medical. Thank you to the Cassini's Chief Purser Jade Hansen for making the arrangements.  
     And in case you're wondering, that's a digital microscope above the computer and a "medicine" cabinet on the side wall. Smith's RX in Pleasant Grove supplied 20 medicine bottles to outfit the container. They will be filled with the latest in 23rd century pharmaceuticals (M&M's, Skittles, etc) - formulated to treat the major intergalactic ailments.       

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Sunday, July 31, 2022

New Flight Directors and Supervisors at the Christa McAuliffe Space Center. Video: We Have Too Much Fun in Our Ships! Imaginarium Theater


     Tis the season of promotions at the Christa McAuliffe Space Center in Pleasant Grove.  Several of the Center's top volunteers worked hard to earn their Blue and Navy over the last several months. Yes friends, it is all in the color. Volunteers wear traditional black. From black, a volunteer can enter the CMSC's Staff Training Academy and work their way to Supervisor Blue and / or Flight Director Navy.  

     Let's take a moment to congratulation our newest inductees into the Supervisors and Flight Director's Guilds.  

NEW CMSC SUPERVISORS


      Jackson and Kaleen (Cassini)


Nan (Cassini) and Rylan (Magellan)


     I work with Jackson, Kaleen, and Nan on the Starship Cassini.  Their promotions are well deserved. They were trained under the watchful eye of Jon Parker, Cassini Set Director.  Helping them along their journey to Supervisor Blue was Ellie, Hyrum, and JJ.  
     Jackson is our long distance supervisor. He lives in the north country and travels to the Space Center first by stagecoach, then train, and bus.  The final 1/2 mile or so is done on foot.  That's roughly a 2 hour journey give or take. That's dedication.  Jackson has a great sense of humor. He kindly laughs at most of my jokes. I appreciate that. 
     Kaleen spends summers at her family's home in PG and attends school in Cedar City.  I know Kaleen to be a perfectionist.  She expects the best from her performance and never disappoints.  She also enjoys a quick bowl of cereal for an energy pick up on those early A.M. missions :) 
     Nan lives locally and is full of energy.  She is willing to take on any assignment. Nan loves being around the campers and works hard to ensure our Cassini crews have a successful mission.  "Is their anything I can do better," she asks her flight directors regularly during missions. That's the trademark of someone striving to be the best.      
     I've not had the pleasure of working with Rylan considering he is a Magellanite.  That being said, I know Connor and Mr. Porter wouldn't present the Supervisor Blue without it being well deserved.  Rylan has one other thing going for him - his dad is Jade Hansen, a long time Space Center volunteer who started in the 1990's.  Today Jade is a computer programmer by profession and a Cassini Supervisor as a side hobby. It gives him a chance to share something in common with his two teenage children who both work at the Center.

NEW FLIGHT DIRECTORS AT THE CMSC         


Ellie Clark (Cassini)

     I've sat through a few of Ellie's practice missions as she trained on the Cassini.  She is talented and one heck of a Thorium problem solver.  Her voice has the power to ring through soundproof walls when she wants it so. My favorite of her characters is Starbase Williamson's docking control lady. You're in good hands when you see Ellie greet you as your Cassini Flight Director.


    Mitch Foote (Odyssey)

     I don't know Mitch very well. I've spoken with him a few times. He is another of the Space Center's professionals (he works at Adobe).  The Odyssey is lucky to have him. Soon Natalie and Lindsey will be leaving.     


JJ Madigan (Falcon)

     JJ has been flying the Falcon most of the summer so his receiving this Flight Director Navy is more a formality.  JJ and I work together in the Cassini on occasion. He's got a creative mind and consistently looks for ways to improve both his performance and the professionalism of the Space Center simulator experience as a whole.  When you hear JJ say "I've got an idea," you'd better stop what you're doing and listen because it's going to be good.    


Hayden Senske (Phoenix)

     Hayden is the Phoenix's newest flight director. He trained with Silver (Phoenix Set Director) and Scott.  When he's not flying the Phoenix, you'll find him supervising in the Magellan. I only see him when he pops into the Cassini Control Room to chat with our staff.  I haven't watched him fly, but I have spent time in the Phoenix control room watching Silver and Scott. They are both top notch and consistently earn high marks from our summer campers.  If they've given him the Navy Blue thumbs up then you know he has the gift.  In his spare time Hayden is the master of mission tacticals. 

We Have Too Much Fun in our Simulators
Featuring the Magellan (Jon Parker and Hayden) and the Voyager (Bracken and staff)





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