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Sunday, February 18, 2018

Come Celebrate Honors Night November 8, 2003 With the Ghosts of the Space Center's Past. Pictures and Thoughts on the Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center's 13th Anniversary. Those Awarded the Five Golden Rings of Trivoly. Theater Imaginarium.

Honors Night 2003.
Front to Back: Randy Jepperson, Kaity, Stacy, Metta, Tanner, Josh, Landon, Ben, Casey, Kendal, Bryson, Brady.

Hello Troops,
Enjoy this post from the past celebrating Honor's Night on November 8, 2013. It was our official celebration of the Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center's 13th anniversary since the founding in 1990.  

Included with the pictures of that Honor's Night is the short history of the Center I posted the next day in the Space Center's first blog, the YahooGroup SpaceEdVentures.  What I wrote then is true today. I only wish we could reopen the Voyager, the First Simulator, so those of us who served and flew in her could sit once more on her bridge and hear those thousands of voices from the past. 

Mr. Williamson
February 18, 2018 

Space Center Journal: November 9, 2003
The Story of How it All Started. The Voices Heard on the Voyager's Bridge.  Thank you to the Pioneers of this Movement.

Hello Troops,
Thirteen Years have come and gone. The Space Center celebrated the event yesterday. I remember November 8, 1990 very well. I was nervous. I had doubts. I questioned whether I knew what I was doing. Others I felt had thoughts concerning my sanity. 

Alan Johnson and Brian Twyman Receiving their 500 point Lorraine Houston Pillow Cases
It all started with a Young Astronaut Club and a trip to Japan. I saw a school with a small shuttle simulator and wanted one for my club at Central. Suddenly the dream took on its own life. The little ship Pegasus, destined to be built where the Odyssey is now, had exploded into the Voyager – a new addition build onto the school. So many people were drawn into the project. Great amounts of money and manpower were spent. It had to succeed but I didn't know what `it' was. Failure wasn't an option. I didn't sleep well those first
years. My health suffered. My poor heart never completely recovered. 

Skyler Carr, ?, ? at Honors Night
Another new Pioneer Welcomed into the Volunteer Corps
Bryson, Kendal, ?, ?
They got Space Shuttle Patches back in the day

The anxiety attacks, I'm happy to say, lasted three years and ended. I had a building but no real understanding what to do with it. envisioned a science lab on board a futuristic spaceship but that idea
never took root. I experimented with a scientific mission to Mars. There are people that remember that first school mission. We flew at warp speed using HyperCard controls I programmed. Once there we used a Mars laserdisc for special effects. We flew around the planet learning about its climate and features. I stood on the bridge next to the Tactical screen. My 6th grade staff (2 kids) sat in the control room listening and waiting for clues on when to play and pause. How primitive it was compared to what we do now. After a few
Mars missions I felt something was missing. The students showed little excitement. They were just bodies sitting at the computers listening to me. I was in command giving the captain orders on where to go and what to do. It wasn't working. 

Josh Babb and Kendal Duclos Enjoying their Lorrain Houston Overnight Camp Blankets

I thought back to my days in the classroom with the overhead projector, boom box, and paper controls. Then the idea came – do what you've proven successful. Introduce some drama. I quickly pulled a few of my "Star Trek" videos and, using two of the school's VCR's, I edited an ending with of a Romulan warbird showing up orbiting Mars.  It was a crazy idea but crazy ideas built the Center. I guess being willing to act on crazy impulses is a character trait I should be proud of. 

Kendal Duclos Received his Five Year Bronze Pin

The idea of adding the Romulan scene at the end of the mission worked 
well. The kids got excited to see the Romulan ship. The little battle thrown into the end of the Mars mission was successful. It convinced me that my original idea of taking a class on an EdVenture
into space would work with the general public like it did with my captive class. I quickly sat down and wrote another mission. I believe it was called "Epsilon". It was a story of a planet in the Klingon Neutral Zone. Half the planet was under Federation control and the other was under Klingon control. The treaty, allowing joint control of the planet, was soon to be reviewed. The planet would be awarded to the government that demonstrated it could best care for the planet's population.

Bryson Lystrup earned a rank advancement pip

The story had the
Voyager entering the Neutral Zone bringing a new kind of wheat to the planet. This new wheat was genetically engineered to grow well in the planet's harsh climate. The Voyager had a few close calls on the way to the planet and a few others while
in orbit. At the end of the mission our classes left the Voyager so excited. I knew I had found the formula and the rest, as they say, is history.

Bill Schuler (Admiral Schuler) with the Silver Chalice of Zod
The Highest Award Given during the Space Center's Voyager Era 

Now here we are 13 years later. The one ship is five. Our stories are much more complicated. Our simulators are ten times more sophisticated. Our work force has exploded but here I am – still sitting at the helm of the Voyager with microphone in hand. The years
have taken their toll. I'm getting older and gray but the magic is still there. Someone once asked me If I would ever move on. I've thought about that many times over the years. Sometimes, when everyone is gone, I go onto the Voyager's Bridge and sit under the dim lights in the Captain's chair. I look at the walls. I imagine the voices of 150,000 children swirling around the room - in the very fabric of the ship. I look over at the left wing and see the original staff, training crews before the days of training tapes. I see Jacob Bartlett over in
the corner asleep when he should be doing his job as a bridge staff. I hear Russell Smith downstairs playing the blind doctor. I watch a much younger Mr. Schuler coming up the stairs in full Star Trek uniform. I hear a child's voice shout, "Admiral on the Bridge!" I still see that silly mask popping up over the loft and staring at Security. I hear the screams, the laughing, and the quiet that came from sadness when Blossom died in a fiery crash into a planet so many years ago. The memories are happy and so I think I'll stay awhile longer.

Members of the Pioneers Received their One Year of Service Pins
Thomas Harding ?,?, Jeremiah Robinson (help with the names.


Perhaps some day video game technology will become so evolved that children will do one of our missions at home connected to some kind of virtual reality machine. The computer will play my part, telling the story and reacting to the kid's decisions. The class will sit with
goggles covering their eyes showing them the bridge of some futuristic ship. Gloves will give them the feel of working the controls. Perhaps the Voyager will still be around. A museum they will visit with their grandparents. As they tour the simulator the sounds of our voices and the blaring music with red alerts will mix with their grandparents stories of when they flew the Voyager to places far distant. 

Ben Hoglund Receiving his rank pips from Mrs. Houston

Thank you everyone for thirteen years. Thank you for volunteering hours of your time each month. The pay isn't great but you're helping me create lasting memories that will stay with our students forever. 

Mr. Williamson

The Winners of the Five Golden Rings of Trivoly. The 3000 Point Award Given at Honors Night November 8, 2003

Randy Jepperson
Randy's Award. He Recently Posted this Picture of it on Facebook. Glad to See He Still Has It.
I'd like to think it got him where he is today!  I mean, how could a winner of the Five Golden Rings not
be successful?

Brady Young Received the Five Golden Rings of Trivoly

Bryson Lystrup Received the Five Golden Rings of Trivoly

Imaginarium Theater
The Best Gifs of the Week Edited for a Gentler Audience

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Learn your Space Center History. Today, August 2001 With An Assortment of Pictures Taken Between 2001 and 2005. Who Do you Recognize? Dream Flight Adventures Presents at the Ohio Educational Technology Conference. The Imaginarium.

Taylor Richards and Carson Mellot  with a summer camper security officer in the Voyager's Crew Quarters 
Learn your Space Center History. Learn How All This Developed into What We Have Now. Read Posts from the Past.  Today, August 2001 With An Assortment of Pictures Taken Between 2001 and 2005

Young Security Guards Learn their Station on the Voyager's Bridge (2002)

August 4, 2001
David Merrell Reflects on the Odyssey's Summer Camp Season and Offers Advice

A Summer Odyssey Camp Crew

Finally the end of the hectic summer has been reached. Finally, I myself can sleep in (WOO HOO). I can allow my brain to turn to important things like, what should I wear tomorrow. I actually ventured outside while the sun was out (Yes I did blind some people as I walked about with my white skin). But in all honesty, I have enjoyed myself to quite an unusual degree. I personally found the EdVenture camps highly extended and wearing, but in the end it was fun simply for the fact that I got to test out the controls out on a slew of unsuspecting campers. 

I would like to thank all the staff and volunteers that I have worked with over the summer for rising to the occasion, and in some cases exceeding well beyond what I expected. Everytime the story changed, everytime something new happened, and in the end I think we ended with a better story than we started.  Some have realized that the way that I want to run the Odyssey with the new controls requires more than ever. So with that in mind, I 
would like to really quickly describe what I think you are all capable of achieving.

Abram Allred Chief of Security. Magellan.

Second Chair (Odyssey IIFX): With the addition of a second mouse, there are times that I can get what I want done on the computer without having to point. So if I have done this to you while you are at second chair, it's simply me saving time of communicating and then 
reponse. But if I do start going somewhere with the pointer, please do not start "fooling" around with it. ITS VERY ANNOYING. Your typing skills will have to increase because you now can send messages back, plus scanning, plus power changes. If they are about to do 
something which can determine whether or not they die, do not click on anything that would bring up a white box on the computer (scanning answering, engineering changes, code transmitting). These white boxes prohibit the computer from processing anything until they are dealt with. Lighting, I believe is one of the more important effects in making the ship seem real as well as keeping the Odyssey at a pleasant temperature. If you are second chair and running with me, the white lights should not be raised above the level that I have 
them set at when you sit in the chair. The level keeps the ship mysterious, as well as keeping it cooler in the Odyssey. IF they switch to red lights, follow. If they switch back to green or yellow, check with me before switching back. One more thing and then I will let you have your brain back. The Video boxes in Odyssey are slowly dying. Please make sure that if I say Fx, that the switch stays in. The switch is about gone and tends to leap out if not kept in for a second. During the course of the mission, please do not try and engage in large levels or conversation. If there is a pause in the story, it's okay to converse. However, generally I am trying to focus on something and get something done. If I appear unresponsive or speak in short bursts, I'm thinking. Please realize that I do not  intend to be mean or abrasive, but at those times I am not capable of multi-tasking.

Doctor: You are the crews lifeline, and you help me drive the mission. Never leave the ship, unless it is to take someone to the restroom. If you wander out of the ship, you have suddenly broken the story into pieces. The reality of space about them has been 
disrupted by the fact that you have just left into the vacuum of space and returned unharmed. When someone needs to use the restroom, don't worry about checking with me first. Bodily functions will rarely wait. DO NOT USE THE MAIN HATCH. Open the hatch in the bunk. You exit first, then help them out. Make sure that the hatch gets replaced to where it was. You may then proceed to the restroom. 

Taylor Richards with a Voyager Security Guard mid mission in the Voyager's Crew Quarters

During every battle scene, 1 to 2 people need to be taken down. These people may not include Captain or Tactical. The Number of people to be taken down is determined by the mission starts, so please check with me before the mission starts up. The Doctor is not 
to do their stations for them EVER.
 You may point and show and basically tell them what to do, but you never take control of the mouse or keyboard. THAT IS A PRIMAL SIN. The doctors station is being redesigned again do to the slow nature of the computer, but the 
basic idea will be the same. Please make sure that every officer gets entered when they are in sickbay. This makes it seem more real. Never expect the computer to "replicate" tools or things for your to use in sickbay. The computer (i.e. ME) is too busy. All of your tools are in a small case under the sickbay bunk. Make sure stuff gets put away, that way nothing gets lost. Indulging yourself some M&Ms is unacceptable. One, these are supposedly medicine. Is the doctor a drug addict? Two, there is a limited supply of them in sickbay. What would the crew think if there was enough for the doctor, but not for them? If there is an intruder in the ship, the doctor should behave nervous and skittish. Their behaviour should hilite the fact that they do not want to get "stunned". The doctor cannot be the crews hero and "stun" the alien in a feat of unprecedented amnesia of the Hippocratic Oath. (If you do not know 
what I am referring to, please look it up). The doctor should always be helping the crew, whether they want it or not. You are the bridge person in the Odyssey. The station that tends to need the most help is Datalink, since they have to use codes. So, as a general rule, 
park yourself near Datalink.

Whew, now that thats done, really you have all been exceptional. I just wanted to correct these problems. Thank you. Kudos to those who got their passes this summer. Sean made an exceptional doctor, Scott Slaugh made an exceptional doctor and second chair, and Jason Hill's quick thinking and help at second chair was most appreciated. If I did not give you a pass, it is not that I do not like you. Rather it is that I know that you are capable of more and that the story requires that you give it your all.

THANK YOU ALL, IT'S BEEN ONE (explitive deleted) OF A SUMMER
Mr. David Merrell

The Phoenix Shortly After it Opened Summer of 2005

August 4, 2001
Mr. Williamson Reflects on the Space Center's Summer Camp Season. What Makes the Perfect Crew. Field Trips to Hansen Planetarium, Hill Air Force Base. 65 Campers, Can You Believe it?  

Hello Troops!
Yesterday at 1:00 P.M. we finished our last Summer extended camp. It is the end of the season. We had our last Naval Academy today and the regular school year overnight missions begin on August 17th. 

I wish all of you could of been there for the final whistle and the goodbye. I must admit it was sort of bittersweet. I still enjoy aspects of the the camps. You work hard waiting for those 
perfect groups that come into your class or simulator. You soon recognize them. They are alert and catch on quickly. They ask intelligent questions. They train well and when the mission starts bingo - you see a captain that quickly takes charge and rarely needs prompting. You see a crew pull together and respond to the story correctly. They are serious when needed. They laugh at the right times. They catch on to the plot at the moment of climax and stay with you through to the resolution. Yes, they are few and far between but when you get one it makes it all worthwhile. That's what you work for (well, there is the small matter of a paycheck and that it is better work that flipping hamburgers, waiting on people, or re roofing tar roofs but that is beside the point). 

Monday was a busy day. Private Missions.
Tuesday was the start of the EdVenture Camp. Registration went well. We sign everyone in but didn't do the computer registration. On a 4 day camp that can wait. The electricians 
have the briefing room finished
. The new ceiling is in. We suffered through that on the last 48 hour camp. I don't know if I touched on that in the last Journal but that was a camp to 
remember in the realm of inconvenience. Every time we cleaned the briefing room in came another squad of workmen with ladders and ceiling tiles. Out comes the now famous green 
duster and Panasonic vacuum. 

I'm happy to report to those that haven't been around in awhile that the briefing room has a new ceiling, new dimmable fluorescent lights, and rows of spot lights running along the perimeter of the ceiling. Mind you, the down side of all this light is that you can see the dirt and chipped paint. 

Taylor Richards, Trent Blackman on the left. Jon Parker on the right. All enjoying a summer camp meal with the campers.

Back to the EdVenture Camp. 

The kids spent Tuesday A.M. building rocket with Jennifer Remy.  I want to thank the students from Jennifer's rocket club for coming up and volunteering to help with the students. They all did a superb job. 

After lunch we boarded the bus for the long trip to Hill Air Force Base. They sent us a normal school bus that is supposed to seat 84. My question is 84 what - Munchkins!!!! Those poor kids crammed into those seat for over 1 hour. I almost felt guilty hogging a whole seat all to myself (almost). It was too difficult to get a count. You couldn't even squeeze your way down the aisle.

Hill AFB was OK. The kids complained about it at the end in the surveys. They complain about field trips. After Hill we went to see the star ship at Hansen Planetarium. I always hold my breath during those shows. I sit there waiting for the one that's going to bring new meaning to "the big bang" during the show.  We survived the show. I ushered them out as quickly as possible. Tuesday evening was the roughest of all. The first rotation didn't end until 11:15 P.M. We didn't get to bed until after midnight. 

A Phoenix Officer. Summer 2005

Wednesday found us at the Museum of Ancient Life at Thanksgiving Point. I was stunned at the new display hall. They have done a tremendous job. I enjoyed the entire program. I 
recommend it to everyone. You can count on several joint camps with the museum. More rotations in the afternoon. We celebrated Tanner Edward's birthday. 

I was stopped as we left the Planetarium by a young couple.  I heard my name and turned around. A young man was standing there with with his hand out to shake mine.  "You don't remember me but when I was a kid I came to the Space Center all the time. I want you to know that I really respect you and what you do for kids. I just wanted you to know that."
I thanked him and they walked away. I turned and looked at the 65 campers running wild around the gift shop and felt my blood pressure drop and my mood calm. Yes, it is worth it. 

Thursday was normal. I felt uneasy about the bus to the pool at the Orem Rec. Center.  A little voice told me to give the bus garage a call. I phoned them while one of my crew's was training. They had no record of my request. They arranged something quickly. That call saved a real disaster. 

We got to bed early on Wednesday and Thursday evenings. 

Friday was weird. Not enough time for a flight rotation. Jennifer Remy had the kids launch their rockets. Mark Daymont took them through a war board game. David Merrell, Stephen Porter, Matt Long, James Porter, and Kevin Anderson did a hypercard comic drawing contest. 

Now the camp is finished. What a summer. What are your thoughts on the summer? Please post them.

Mr. Williamson

Caity Lee during a Hydration Break

August 4, 2001
The Magellan and Red October Named the Simulator and the Story of the Summer Season

Hello Troops,
A special recognition is due the Magellan staff and volunteers who worked the "Red October" story. The Magellan scored a perfect 1 on our last camp. Also, except for our first camp, the Magellan took top honors from the campers as the story that made them think the most. The Magellan took the overall highest score from all campers for the summer season in story satisfaction 

Congratulations to the Magellan for Top Honors. I pronounce the Red October as "Story of the Summer!"

Mr. Williamson

Summer Campers Enjoying Lunch on an EdVenture Camp.

August 7, 2001
Central Elementary's New Electrical System, Ceilings, and Security Lights Spells the End of the Thrilling, Dark, Suspenseful Landing Parties and Deck 21 Scenes.

Hello Troops,
I thought I'd take a minute to update you on the school's construction. Currently Central is without electricity . We can expect the power to be back on within a day or two. New power 
lines are being stretched across the road in front of the school. These new lines are necessary to accommodate the new outlets in the classrooms and the new lighting system installed throughout the building. 

Work is underway on the remodelling of the upper grade restrooms along the 5th grade hallway. The toilets and sinks are gone. Other than that I haven't seen anything else. This 
could be interesting. 500 students and only one set of restrooms!!! They are running out of time. We shouldn't worry - there is always the option of a ditch outside with a few hastily 
constructed outhouses with little moons on the doors to remind students that this school houses the great Space Center. All of our technology and wooden outhouses. Maybe we should set up a few of our older Mac SE's or classics out there as a finishing touch. I'm concerned about those restrooms.

The new ceilings are in place. They look good. I am sorry to say this but the new lighting system will bring an end to a long standing Space Center tradition. Each hallway has a set of security lights that are on all the time - even if you shut off the bank of lights. No longer will we be able to sneak down darkened hallways lying in wait to pounce on unsuspecting 
children. It is sad. Yes, we will continue our landing parties but without total darkness in those halls it will make a difference.

There is one advantage to the new ceilings - the intercom system is new. There are new intercom speakers in the ceilings running along all the hallways. This will provide a better method of adding sounds to the hallways for landing parties and for the start of overnight missions. 

Any ideas from the egroup on ways to incorporate the new hallway security lights into stories.

Anyway - there is your update. Power should be back on by Thursday or Friday.

Thank you and all of you have orders from me - El Supremoto enjoy your last weeks of summer vacation and shore leave from Starfleet before you are called back to active duty aboard the


Mr. Williamson

Campers in the Odyssey's Bunks mid mission

August 11, 2001
Lorraine Houston Comments on the 2001 Summer Camp Season.






Campers in the Original Galileo

August 18, 2001
Julie Collette Returns from the Advanced Space Academy in Huntsville, Alabama and Praises What We Do. The Space Center was Superior!

Hey Everyone-
While you were out waiting in line for the mistakenly named "Colossus" at Lagoon, I was feeling the force of 4.5 G's for two minutes. I recently attended Advanced Space Academy in Huntsville, Alabama. The reason I post is this:

We had the opportunity to do a few simulators. Because of my experience with the Space Center, I couldn't help but compare the two. The first was a "simulation" of a fighter-pilot jet but instead it was a boring computer game. Then we went on the Orbiter (named 
Enterprise), the ISS, and finally we imitated the people in MOCR. Though it was neat to walk into what actually did look like one of the five Space Shuttles, their attempt to make it "realistic" was, well, pathetic. The most realistic of it all was when I did an EVA and "fixed" a satellite using a mock-up of the Canada Arm. What wasn't realistic was when the staff sat in the room with you and openly gave you anomalies such as "the temperature is now 85 degrees and rising" or "Commander, you just had a heart attack". 
In the ISS we performed experiments which is very much like what the crew of the ISS does, but the problem was we were supposed to be in zero-gravity. The staff told us that if we failed to velcro something to the wall, it would come and hit us in the head. But then we 
performed experiments in open area and all of our materials seemed to stay where we put them quite nicely. I asked about it, and he claimed that we had a "magical table" that securely kept everything in place. I guess that's the best they can do in a situation like that. 

The Phoenix First Officer

Finally, MOCR. The only neat thing about this was that we were able to communicate with the other ships, something our simulators lack. We each had a computer, strictly for data. (what I mean by this is that it was one of those with black screens and green writing) This 
computer told us how the systems were working, and allowed someone like me to talk the MS's on the Orbiter through their EVA. However, as soon as they were done performing their EVA, I sat in boredom. EXTREME boredomAgain, the staff stayed with us and told us our anomalies, again unfit for the way we were performing.

And most importantly, overall, the thing they lacked most in their simulators was that they didn't even attempt to make our mistakes fit an upcoming problem such as we do at the Space Center. If in our simulators you do everything correctly you will have a completely 
successful mission, aside from a few battles and alien wounds. And vice-versa. But even if you did everything correctly there, your anomalies were the same each mission.

Don't get me wrong, I did love attending this camp and it was very informative, but all the flight directors, especially Mr. Williamson, can give themselves a pat on the back for a job superiorly done.
That is all, thank you for taking the time to read.

-Julie Collett-

Voyager Security Guards Finishing off Their Training

Dream Flight Adventures Presents a Seminar on Using Simulator Classrooms to Teach Success at the Ohio Educational Technology Conference

Hello All,
Admiral Starblayze (aka. Gary Gardiner) posted this short summary of Dream Flight Adventures presentation on experiential simulations at the Ohio Educational Technology.  The gospel of experiential education through simulations is spreading thanks to all the many good people out there who have championed this form of education.  

Mr. W.  

Death, Destruction, and Mayhem at OETC18

Have you ever moderated tense peace negotiations—or had to discover the cause of an epidemic? Have you helped create a new government or used science to stop a natural disaster? This is exactly what our students at Shaler Area Elementary get to do!
This week Mike Penn attended the Ohio Educational Technology Conference to share how his simulator classroom, the IKS Titan, uses death, destruction, and mayhem to prepare his students for success.
By the time Mike’s presentation kicked off there was standing room only.  Every seat in the room was filled with enthusiastic educators from all across Ohio eager to bring hands-on immersive education to their students.

Mike described how when the hatch door closes, the simulation suddenly becomes real. The students are no longer fifth graders—but heroes, leaders, scientists, and engineers. They take ownership over their roles and they kick their brains into full gear. Students have risen to the challenge, found their inner leadership skills, and worked together as a team to save the day.
“What a great way to get kids involved!” commented one inspired teacher.
It was a joy to meet with everyone at OETC, and we hope our story gives rise to all new epic adventures for their students!

The Imaginarium