Contact Victor Williamson with your questions about simulator based experiential education programs for your school.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

The Space Center's Galileo Lite Lands at FanX in Salt Lake - A Big Hit. Construction Update. From the Archives - the First Telling of Event Horizon on the Voyager and Dave Wall and James Porter's Discovery Project. Imaginarium Theater.


 The Christa McAuliffe Space Center Lands the Galileo Lite at FanX in Salt Lake City

By James Porter
CMSC Director

     We had a wonderful time at FanX last week. Our mobile version of the Galileo for participants to sample performed well considering it was put together in 3 days. Our goal was to raise awareness of our program, get a few donations, and try to reach our Facebook likes goal. We didn't quite get all our goals but we ended up with something even better.

     There were so many times where people started off with a puzzled look and apprehension to stop that then transformed into excitement and a "thanks for stopping me, this is going to be what I do for my next birthday." Or the classic, "how did I not know this existed!"
     Often new fans rescued their friends from the hustle and bustle of the more crowded booths to come and experience our simulator instead. A prime example of how we rely on so many of you who have helped us with the simple phrase, "it's hard to describe, but trust me that you are going to love it."

     One new commander who is sure to work their way up the ranks became one of our favorites. This young man has already logged around 3 hours of simulator time. We asked if there were other things at the convention he was planning on seeing as he kept coming back, "No, yours is the best,"  he said. He eventually started receiving orders from Starfleet to complete investigations of a rumored Borg invasion in a nearby booth with our friends from the 7th Fleet Star Trek club.

     A large portion of our encounters brought back floods of memories with past volunteers, staff, and campers bumping into us. Many stories were shared as we reminisced about good times saving the galaxy. Far too many of them didn't realized we were still operating after so many years and had written it off as a childhood memory. They have their plans now to return and reconnect with the Space Center that was so much a part of their formative years.

     I think the furthest back we came was someone who went on an overnight camp around 25 years ago. As he stood there with his family he kept looking to his wife with a look of, "our kids are doing a mission while we fly another with our friends." It was fun to see his excitement as he tried to convey some of what he remembered to his wife who stood wide eyed as she saw a previously unknown side of her husband. The 12 year old right wing officer from 1994.

     To all those who visited that already fly with us on a regular basis as we greatly appreciate your support. To the many new fans who are gathering their crews for their first adventure we look forward to testing your abilities as command officers of our starships. Lastly to our long lost friends who we reconnected with we are glad to have you back and for the past experiences you shared with us.

      It was a great reminder of just how impactful our program has been and will continue to be as we spent the last few days in such excellent company.

Mr. Porter

Construction Update.  Central Elementary School and the Christa McAuliffe Space Center

Construction of the new Christa McAuliffe Space Center and Central Elementary School is moving ahead at a fast pace.  Check out these now photos taken on September 13.

The new Space Center's foundation

The Space Center's walls are going up

The building site where the old three story church once stood

The school's walls are going up fast

From the Christa McAuliffe Space Center's Historical Archives

The First Telling of the Voyager Mission "Event Horizon"
May 13, 2003

Hello Troops,
The Voyager is going to run its summer mission, "Event Horizon" for the first time this Friday evening. It will be a level 3 mission (maybe a 2.5). The crew will be made up of some of our Sixth Graders from Central Elementary's staff and a few 6th and 7th graders from our
volunteer clubs. I want this to be limited to no one older than 13 years old. This will give me a good idea how our normal aged campers will understand the mission. The mission will begin at 7:00 P.M.  Friday evening and continue until 1:30 P.M. Saturday afternoon. We are
going longer because it is a test mission and we will be making changes as we go. You will be fed a breakfast but you should bring a sack lunch. The crew will be limited to 10 people. I'll give the slots away based on hours and points in the clubs.

If you are interested in being a crew member please send me an email asap. I'll let you know if you made it by Thursday. Once again, this will be for the top point earners in the clubs that are 11 - 13 years old.

Thanks Troops,
Mr. Williamson

Discovery Log, 05 May 2003
This is a blog post sent to me in 2003 by Dave Wall, Director of the Discovery Space Simulator program in the Cache Valley of northern Utah.  Dave started at the CMSEC as the original Odyssey's Set Director and Imagineer.  Dave started the Pathfinder project. He, along with James Porter, ran the program.    Victor Williamson
     Welcome to the first log entry of the USS Discovery! Many changes have been happening at the simulator up in Cache Valley and I have been very much behind in keeping in touch. Stay tuned for regular log entries.

Name Change
     For those of you who might be confused, the Pathfinder name and branding has been changed to Discovery. This includes the program itself (Discovery Space Simulator) and the name of the ship (USS Discovery). The simulator operates under the umbrella of the Discovery Alliance, and it is best for everyone to have a name that is compatible with the other programs under the Alliance (The Discovery Center, Discovery on Wheels and Discovery Summer Science Camps). Check out our updated website at Other ships named Discovery include one of the two ships used by the British explorer Captain James Cook when he explored Alaska and northwestern Canada in the 1770s, as well as the Space Shuttle. The Discovery is proud to bear the name of such historic ships.

Daytime Program a Success
     The daytime program was started in March and has been running very successfully ever since. By the end of the school year, we will have run nearly every 5th grade class in the District. We will be running missions all the way through May until the end of the school year. The daytime program was possible due to the sponsorship of the Cache County
School District and the Discovery Alliance, who we thank very much for their support.

Happy Birthday to Us
     The Discovery was launched on May 5th, 2001 as the USS Pathfinder at a ceremony that some of you may remember. We are now two years old and are finally getting things to work.

James Porter Leaving
     We are sad to say that James Porter is beginning to believe that there is life outside of simulation. He is going to be leaving the Discovery at the end of this week and may end up at the Christa McAuliffe Space Center from time-to-time. James has gone above and beyond the call of duty and managed to almost single-handedly got everything in the
Discovery running in Bristol-fashion. James has taken the responsibility of getting the ship fixed up and stations added so we could run a day program. I don't know where we would be without him.

Help Me Spock
     The Discovery is in desperate need of many things. We welcome not only donations, but your ideas as well. Please look over our website and let us know what you think. We have the information people need there, but are always looking to improve outreach and programs. Take a look at and give feedback to

     We are also in need of some items. We would love to upgrade our computer stations since the ones we have are getting on almost ten years old. If you have any Macs better the old LCIII you would like to donate, please let us know. If you don't have any, perhaps you know of where we may get some for not too many credits. We are also in need of cots for our overnight missions, preferably ones that don't squeak. If you don't have any items, please send us your ideas.

     Many thanks to those who have helped us get this going.

Dave Wall
Director, Discovery Space Simulator

Imaginarium Theater
The Best Videoettes From Around the World Edited for a Gentler Audience

Sunday, September 8, 2019

From the Archives. Space Center Journal May 2003. We all feel sorry for Lorraine. Construction throughout the school this summer.Matt Long to reprogram the Odyssey. The Spotlight is on Chris Call, Megan Warner, BJ Warner, Sam Brady, Alex DeBirk, and Emily Perry. James Porter Returns.. Reality's Edge New Video. Imaginarium Theater.

Summer 3 Day Overnight Camp Phoenix Crew: July 2008

Space Center Journal: May 4, 2003
Summary:  Commentary on visiting schools and field trip behavior. We all feel sorry for Lorraine.  Another great overnight camp under our belt. Construction throughout the school this summer. A Nightmare for sure.  Matt Long to reprogram the Odyssey and puts the finishing touches on the Voyager's Isolinear Panel.  The Spotlight is on Chris Call, Megan Warner, BJ Warner, Sam Brady, Alex DeBirk, and Emily Perry.  James Porter Returns.

Hello Troops,
We close another week at the Space Center. I'll take a minute and review the events.

The Phoenix Crew waits to board the ship.  Summer 3 Day EdVenture Camp. July 2008

Visiting Schools:
     On Monday and Tuesday we hosted GroveCrest Elementary School's fifth grades. They were briefed well. The missions went as expected. As always it is exciting to see the kid's reactions to the simulators the first time they see them. Wednesday was a mixed group of two schools from the Jordan School District. One was good and the other was a challenge for Mrs. Houston. It is always the afternoon class that gives us the most trouble in the classroom.

The Galileo Crew is ready to board:  Summer 3 Day EdVenture Camp. July 2008

     We get them all hyper in the simulation and then turn them loose on poor Lorraine. If the teacher will step in and help things go better. If the teacher sits back and does nothing to discipline his / her class what is Lorraine expected to do? I don't know the answer to this problem. If the teacher doesn't care or is too burned out to do anything about a disruptive class then perhaps we should not invite that school to attend in the future. I feel it punishes the good kids the field trip benefits and the teachers that are trying. There must be a better way. I'll sleep many nights on it and see what solution comes to mind.
     Thursday and Friday saw Valley View Elementary School at the Space Center. All the teachers tried but once again it was really rough on both afternoons. One teacher was trying to help but the kids were too sauced up.You know, the time of year also plays a part. This is the time of year whekids smell spring in the air and that means the start of summer.

The Odyssey Captain likes her job:  Summer 3 Day EdVenture Camp. July 2008

Overnight Mission:
     We hosted American Fork Junior High School's gifted seventh and eighth graders Friday evening. They looked big and that made some of our flight directors anxious. They sat in the gym huddled together in groups talking and laughing while they waited for the start of the camp. I looked them over thinking this could be good or it could be really bad. I was also worried our principal would be in roaming the halls all evening long delivering the Utah
State Core Test to all the classrooms. I told Mr. Daymont that the Voyager and Magellan landing parties might be canceled if she was going to be `wandering'. We couldn't have her walking dark halls with kids crawling around an obstacle course as they imagined moving through an alien ship.

The Odyssey Switchboard Officer:  Summer 3 Day EdVenture Camp. July 2008

     By 9:00 P.M. she hadn't arrived so I gave the order for the landing parties and the overnight missions went ahead as planned. At 11:00 P.M. we met in the gym for ice cream. The flight directors reported success. This was anotheenjoyable overnighter. Wow, we have been lucky for the past few weeks as far as the camps are concerned. The teens were giving us every sign they were enjoying themselves. That is all the applause we need.
     I crossed my fingers hoping they would go to bed and let us get some sleep. had a little heart to heart with them telling them how much we needed their help with the sleeping portion of the camp. I asked them to just go to bed and sleep so we could sleep. I explained that we've been doing camps for twelvyears and will continue doing so as long as the campers make it somewhat enjoyable for us. They listened and went to bed without a problem! We all slept well Friday evening.
     The simulators all got excellent reviews, even the Falcon. The Falcon has had their problems in the past with the older and more experienced crews but not on this camp. They loved it. Good job Stacy, Lorraine, and the Falcon crew!

The Galileo Operations Officer: Summer 3 Day EdVenture Camp. July 2008

Summer Missions:
     In a few weeks the simulators will be running their new missions. These missions are the official `dress rehearsals'. Would you like to be a member of the crew? Watch for upcoming announcements on how you can be the first to experience the missions of 2003-2004.

The Odyssey Crew trained and ready for launch. Summer 3 Day EdVenture Camp. July 2008

Space Center Radio:
     Saturday afternoon I sat at the offices of RCTI with Kyle Herring in Orem for the Victor Williamson Radio Show broadcast over the Space Center's web site. Can you believe how far we've come with that site since last March?

     The show was announced in an email to the members of our Frequent Flyer Club. Congratulations Kyle on a job well done and thank you for all the volunteer time you give the Center. Kyle, like so many others, knows that the Center exists because of the volunteering spirit of those that have been touched by the vision of what we do.

The Voyager's Engineer learns his panels. Summer 3 Day EdVenture Camp. July 2008

     I sat in a conference room with a microphone in hand The mic was connected to a computer. Kyle and his friend Mark sat in the office next door and monitored the signal over the internet. I spent one half hour talking about the history of the Space Center. I described in detail how I did the very first missions in my classroom with a boom box and overhead projector. The time went by quickly. We will do one every month. I'll announce the next one over the YahooGroup.

The Voyager's Damage Control Officer: Summer 3 Day EdVenture Camp. July 2008

     Matt Long was in on Friday working on the Voyager's isoliner chip cabinet. It is getting exciting to know that will be up and running soon. Matt will begin working on new Odyssey controls to extend the number of people the Odyssey can serve. Thanks Matt!
     The Magellan's air door connecting the Situation Room to the Bridge broke at
the end of this last overnighter. One door seem to have come off its railing. I'll put that at the top of our repair list.

The Voyager's Left Wing Officer. Summer 3 Day EdVenture Camp. July 2008

     The District was in on Friday looking over the school and the Space Center. They have decided the school will be completely rewired for internet and phone during this summer construction phase. All our simulators will be wired with phones and internet connections. There will be ports in the walls for internet cameras and such. This will open the door to new possibilities especially for broadcasting our missions over our web site.

The Voyager's Right Wing:  Sensors, Scanners and Right Wing.Summer 3 Day EdVenture Camp. July 2008

Construction Update:
     Prepare for the worst Troops. The building will be in total shambles all summer long. This will be worse than anything we've experienced in the past. I should have shut the Center down all summer but now it is too late. We are going to run amidst the chaos and mess. We'll all just pull together and get through it.

The Voyager Command Officers. Summer 3 Day EdVenture Camp. July 2008

The Spotlight is on You!
     Chris Call. What a trooper. I know Chris has been spotlighted before but this week he put us all to shame with the number of missions run. He comes in a9:30 A.M. and puts in three to four missions a day. His attitude is alwaypositive and his missions always given 100 %. Last week he heard a complaint from one of our advanced officers that their mission in the Odyssey several months earlier wasn't very good. He called them and offered a half off mission he would personally run on Saturday evening after an overnighter and two private missions! No one has ever done that. Times like that makme sit back in my chair and thank all the powers that govern our existence that Chris Call took an interest in the Space Center years ago and became a volunteer.

The Phoenix Crew trained and ready for launch. Summer 3 Day EdVenture Camp. July 2008

Alex DeBirk!
     We were all treated to a special video Saturday morning after the votes wercounted. Alex Debirk played highlights of Lehi High School's production of Le Mes. We got to hear him sing a couple of songs and then kiss the female lead. Alex was outstanding both in his acting and voice. After the video segment Lorraine took the floor and told us That Alex's Klingon Commander in Maximus was the best she had ever seen at the Space Center. I looked at her wondering if she included me in that generalization;  she did. Alex was the best at playing that part. I guess we will all have to make a point to come in and listen.
     Alex is another flight director that always has an excellent attitude when it comes to his missions. He is outgoing with the campers and makes them feel welcome and wanted. I rest easy in the Voyager knowing the Galileo has two of the best running its missions. Alex and Julie make an outstanding team. You're a lucky one to get to fly the Galileo these days.

The Magellan Admiral having second thoughts on taking command. Summer 3 Day EdVenture Camp. July 2008

Megan Warner, BJ Warner, Sam Brady, and Emily Perry: 
     I need to mention some really great volunteers. Megan and Sam are Voyagers. BJ and Emily are Pioneers. I want them to know I appreciate their willingness to always stay and work extra missions. They always check the work schedule and let me know that if there are
openings or if I just need an extra worker they are available and will do everything they can to assist. What can I say true examples of the volunteering spirit.

The Phoenix Crew bonded nicely with each other. Summer 3 Day EdVenture Camp. July 2008

James Porter is Coming Back!
     James Porter is coming back to Orem for the summer. He spent the last school year going to school in Logan and running the Pathfinder. He will be here preparing for his LDS mission. He is planning on working the overnighter oMay 16th. I'm wondering if James has an interest in dong a few missions? We shall soon see.

Well Troops,
That is about it.  Be Good. Study hard. Respect your parents and your teachers. Finish the school year on top.

Mr. Williamson

Reality's Edge Introduction Video

     In case you may have forgotten, the Discovery Space Center at Canyon Grove Academy Charter School has been rebranded to Reality's Edge.  They have an introductory video on YouTube.  Check it out.   

Imaginarium Theater
The Best Videoettes From Around the World Edited for a Gentler Audience

Sunday, September 1, 2019

News Update from the Christa McAuliffe Space Center. Imaginarium Theater.

News from the Christa McAuliffe Space Center
James Porter, Director

Galileo and Magellan Concept Art
     Thanks to some recent donations we are excited to share some concept art related to the new simulators being built. As we get closer to our goals we'll share more fun peeks into the new Space Center. We hit some goals so quickly we are working to catch up and share some ship models and other news so stay tuned.
Many personal donations have been matched by employers so ask your company if they offer donation/gift matching when you look to make your contribution.
Drawing credit: Orion Bowers & Dave Wall

Farewell To Four Members of our Space EdVenturing Family.  Life is Calling...... It is time to Return to the Good Earth
     As we transition into a new school year that often means that staff move on to new adventures with school, careers, or religious endeavors. This year we lose Erin, Connor, Lindsey, and Orion. Collectively between the four they have put in around 25 years as volunteers, supervisors, and flight directors. We wish them in all of their pursuits and look forward to when they visit us again.

The Tribute Video from Honor's Night.  August 2019.

Christa McAuliffe Space Center  / Central Elementary School Construction Update

     Thursday marked the first major wall of cement being poured in the Space Center section of the school. Today I remembered the photo as I work to organize this years field trips and see what we can do for the 23 schools on our wait list.
      Part of those are the schools that will get spring field trips in the new building as long as everything finishes on time. So far we are on course with no major setbacks thanks to Hogan & Associates Construction and all their hard work to get us there.

To learn more about the Christa McAuliffe Space Center:

Imaginarium Theater
The best videoettes from around the world edited for a gentler audience.