Visit SpaceCampUtah.org to learn more about the Space Education Centers in Utah. Visit SpaceGuard.org and ProjectVoyager.org for information on joining a simulator based school space and science club.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

A Few Thoughts from Mr. Williamson

Staff, Volunteers, Students and Campers;
Are you feeling overwhelmed? Are you stressed to the point of breaking? Are you tossing and turning at night when you should be sleeping. Are you sleeping in class when you should be learning? Perhaps you suffer from a desease called: IWANTTODOEVERYTHINGBUTIDONTHAVETHETIMEBUTIMNOTWILLINGTOCUT
SOMETHINGSOUTSOILLJUSTKEEPDOINGEVERYTHINGUNTILIDROPitus.
If you suffer from this aliment and are looking for a magic cure I want to assure you that there isn't one. There are only 24 hours in a day and nothing you do will increase that. You may choose to sleep less and thus cheat on the day by stealing hours from night but that therapy will fail over time. Soon your sanity will surrender to insanity and you'll be found doing cartwheels down State Street in your underwear!

A bit of balance is what the doctor orders. To avoid going 'GaGa'. To avoid falling asleep at your desk in school and drooling over your notes may I suggest you take a look at your schedule and decide if everything you're juggling is really necessary. You may need to cut some things out to save a few hours for other things to bring balance to your life and sunshine to your soul. Here are a few ideas.
  1. Reserve time for some kind of activity. Many participate in a sport. Whatever you do to keep your heart beating is good. A healthy body is more alert. You'll spend less time sick. Physical activity is a must in any daily schedule. This is an order!
  2. Give your education your very best. This is your future. Any shortcuts in this section of your time will be lasting. Shoot for the 'A'.
  3. Community and / or faith. I believe everyone needs to give something back to the community. Considering volunteering for a few hours per month in a school or other organization. Giving of ourselves keeps us unselfish and gives you insights on how blessed you really are. Community and Faith gives you an anchor during troubled times.
  4. Reserve time to be a kid. You need to hang out with your friends. You need to go to a movie and listen to your music. You need time to unwind. Don't feel guilty for taking time for friends. Just remember to keep it clean and follow your parent's guidelines. They've been there before and know the potholes in life's road you should avoid.
  5. Don't forget your family. Teenagers find themselves wanting to spend more time with friends and less time with family. This sometimes causes parent's to 'freak out'. They've raised you all these years and find it tough to let you start creating a life of your own. Help your parents through this tough time by not neglecting your family. Don't cut them out of your decision making. Keep the lines of communication open. You'll see the apron strings loosen if you take time to talk to mom and dad on a regular basis. Shutting yourself away in your room or always hiding behind your ipod is the wrong approach. Weekly time for Mom and Dad is a must. Trust me - you'll be happier and they'll be happier.
Your life should be a careful balance of the items above. Try to keep this balance and I believe you'll be happier and more successful.

Mr. Williamson

Weekly Update from the Space Center

Our Condolences to Mrs. Houston
On Monday we learned that Mrs. Houston's father passed away. Lorraine is a teacher at the Space Center. She has been with us for nearly fifteen years. Lorraine took the week off to spend with her mother and family and will return to the Center on Monday, March 31st. Our condolences to Lorraine and her family.

A Busy Week
Busy isn't the word to describe last week at the Center. The simulators were running morning, noon, and night. By Saturday 5:00 P.M. the wear on the staff was obvious. It was all I could do to keep from curling up on the floor behind my desk and going to sleep for several hours. Brittany (Magellan Flight Director) came staggering in from the Magellan and collapsed into the desk chair opposite mine in the Briefing room. "I'm too tired to get up," she kept repeating. I told her sister Nicole, a supervisor in the Magellan, to carry her to the car and get her home to bed. Brittany and Nicole started work Friday afternoon at 4:00 P.M. It was now Saturday 5:30 P.M. - a long 25 + hours! Several of the other Saturday staff were there since Friday. Many already put in long hours during the week with school field trips and private missions.
We have two months of mind breaking days ahead. Some simulators will be running four missions a day nearly everyday. Luckily we have new flight directors on hand to help with the load. Good news as well - Emily Perry will be returning from university in April to help with the Magellan and Odyssey missions. We have a challenge but it is good to be busy. It means we are doing our job well and our students appreciate our work.

New Flight Directors
I've appointed two volunteers as new Flight Directors. Jordan F is approved to FD in the Phoenix and Christine S will be a new Odyssey FD. Both are full of energy and enthusiastic. They both work well with our campers.

Aleta Clegg New Office Assistant
Troops, I can't keep doing everything. I was slowly getting buried in my work load and not getting home until late. Aleta Clegg saw a need and stepped forward to fill it. She offered to
take on several of my office duties. This will free me up to spend more time on missions and flight directing. I also look forward to spending time with the Flight Directors in their simulators helping them sharpen their skills. Aleta is booking all students for summer camp and taking care of the YahooGroup database. She handles many of the phone calls as well.
Thank you Aleta!

Wrap Up
My thanks to our wonderful staff and volunteers for the many hours, paid and unpaid, you spend at the Center creating our one of a kind EdVentures. My thanks to our campers and students for coming to the Center. You are why we are here. Let us know how we are doing by sending me an email: director@spacecamputah.org. I'd like to know what we are doing right and how we can improve.

Mr. Williamson
Director


Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Space Center's Brent Anderson is Named A Sterling Scholar


"As chief technical officer at the Christa McAuliffe Space Center in Pleasant Grove, I have been able to reach out to the community through service while refining my own capabilities in leadership and business. The Space Center provides educational and entertaining space flight simulations to elementary school students in Utah Valley. When I accepted the position in 2005, I was given neither instruction nor assistance. Since then. I have created their entire programming department, given hundreds of hours to several projects, created marketing campaigns, taught technology and business to junior high-age students and revolutionized the way the Space Center educates and entertains students from across the country. This experience has been vital in my development as a businessman and as a member of society. Working there has helped me develop people skills, make executive decisions and experience the 'real world' with a safety net. I have had an opportunity to experiment, practice and implement my own ideas in a stable environment."
"I plan to obtain a bachelor's degree in computer engineering from BYU. I will go on to receive a joint MBA/juris doctorate, lending me the business, legal and technical skills to handle my own startup businesses. "My greatest dream in entrepreneurship is to found a nonprofit mentoring organization for teenagers. This organization would partner teen entrepreneurs with volunteer businesspeople, accountants and attorneys, guiding them through the process of starting and running a business."

SCHOLARSHIP: Ranks 43 out of 531; overall GPA is 3.9; 33 composite ACT.
AWARDS AND PROJECTS: Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center chief technical officer; Forkaster publicity editor; consulting services; Student of the Month for Counseling and Business; National Merit Semifinalist; high honor roll; academic letters in German, math, English and Renaissance; Business Law Skill Certificate; IC3 Certification; trumpet section leader; BYU senior projects judicator; BusinessQ Rookie of the Year; journalism publicity editor; German National Honor Society; American Fork City Youth Council; Youth Committee Chairman.

FRONT | INTRO. | CATEGORIES | NOMINEES | FINALISTS | WINNERS

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Are You Ready for a Challenge? Try This!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

New Records for Midnight Rescue on the Voyager!



Today two records were set in the Voyager for our school mission “Midnight Rescue”.
Eaglecrest Elementary sent two of its sixth grade classes for our regular field trip.
There were 32 students in each class. While one class takes the astronomy lesson and planetarium presentation the other class is in the simulators. The AM mission started right on time. The captain seemed rather confident. “I play a lot of strategy games,” he told me as I was setting him up with his radio headphones. “As if that will help,” I thought to myself. It was rather cynical but this is the time of year with I get that way.

The mission started. The captain impressed me. He stayed focused and attentive. He paid attention to detail and listened. His decisions were spot on. He seemed to know what to do in every situation. When all was said and done they ended with a 0 score!
A perfect score is -3. They beat the record set by Deerfield Elementary.

The afternoon crew boarded the simulator at 11:45 A.M. They were great kids.
I hesitated to score them. I didn’t want them to leave with 7 strikes and have to hear about the 0 score from the other class while on the bus for 40 minutes. The mission started and strangely enough they were rolling through with errors. I think the teacher was giving them suggestions on what to say during the debates which helped but not enough for me to disqualify the class. At the end of the mission they also scored a 0!

Two classes from the same school on the same day with 0 scores. I don’t think a day like this will be repeated. Congratulations to Eaglecrest Elementary for a job well done.

Mr. Williamson

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Power of Suggestion

Magellan Simulator Security Officers Discuss Options with Staff

By Alex A.
Space Center Programming Guild


A few weeks back, I was doing bridge on the voyager. This was a slightly older group (about 14-15 years old) and they were running 'Midnight Rescue.' They were doing a pretty good job, and eventually transported the New Earth engineer (Sierra, a Central worker) onboard. The security quickly dispatched her and brought her up to the brig. After a few minutes, the engineer stirred and the security officer quickly grabbed his interrogation papers and began badgering the helpless engineer. The engineer curled up in the corner and didn't say a word. Discouraged, the security officer emerged from the brig and walked up to me. He said "What am I doing wrong? She won't tell me a thing!" I thought for a moment, and then told him "Well, maybe you are being too harsh with her. She might feel more comforted if you talk to her kindly." I told him to act like his best friends mom would act to him. He stood there for a moment, probably thinking "He wants me to do that!?! He's crazy!" But eventually he walked back to the brig with his clipboard and warily stepped in. The engineer looked up at him, and then resumed her original position. He walked closer to her and said something like "Are you alright? It's okay, don't worry." Remember that this is a 14-15 year old guy. I smiled and returned to the bridge. A few minutes later I decided to check up on the conversation and saw the security officer crouched down next to her, talking with the engineer in that same soothing voice. I saw a few of the questions filled in on his clipboard. It amazed me that I was able to make this security officer warm up to this engineer so much by just telling him to.

I guess that is all.
Alex A

Friday, March 21, 2008

Why Limited Super 17 Hour Overnight Camps and No Leadership Camp.


Greetings from Mr. Herring!
Subject: Super 17 Hour Overnighters and Teenager Leadership Camp
We have had several emails expressing disappointment about our age limitations for Super Overnight Camps and the disappearance of our Leadership Camp from the summer schedule. I want to apologize to our older campers that wanted to participate in a Leadership Camp or a Super 17 Hour Overnighter. First, let me tell you how hard it was for us to make this year's summer camp schedule. We knew we couldn't accommodate the demand for longer camps, especially the Super 17 Hour Overnighters and the Leadership Camps because of the following reasons:
• Most of the older students wishing to registering for the Super 17 Hour Overnight Camps have already done our mission "Canada". With so many students wanting to go, and with limited availability (remember we only allow 19 per camp), we thought it would be wise to give everyone the experience when they are young and allow them to attend only one.
• Super Overnighters and Leadership Camps are difficult to produce. In the past, I have spent at least one hundred hours to prepare a mission that will be run 2 times during a summer season (USS Canada for the 5th and 6th graders and Maelstrom for 7th and 8th grades). The Leadership camp is slightly different. I'm not preparing mission stories but I am scheduling camp activities—field trips, buses, food, classes, guest speakers, and mission schedules.
• In the past, I was a full-time employee of the Space Center. I am now part time and have a another job that demands a minimum of 40 hours per week. It is a better paying job with health benefits. I can't donate as many hours to the Center as I did in the past.
Because of limited time, I have decided that my volunteer hours at the Space Center will be used for:

A. Maintaining the Simulators of the Center.
B. Developing my new overnight story, "A Matter of Honor" for the Voyager, which will premier this summer on Overnight Missions.
C. Starting and directing the Space Center's new Community Outreach Program (fan club) called "The Explorers Club". Expect news on this club very soon. Trust me, you will love this club. There will be opportunities for more Super Overnighters and Leadership Camps for campers aged 10 through 17.
D. Raising money for the construction of a new Galileo and a refit of the USS Voyager.

As you can all see, with a full time job, personal life and my part time job at the Space Center I am already burning the candle at both ends! Thanks for your support and understanding. Thank you for your enthusiasm for the Center. I look forward to working with you in the new Explorers Club. Keep checking the Blog often for updates or, send your email address to the Space Center and you'll be notified when the Club will hold its first orientation meeting. Be sure to get your parent's permission before sending your email address!

All the best,
Mr. Herring

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

A New Top Score for Midnight Rescue!


Hello Troops,
Two new records were set this week and its only Wednesday! On Monday the first sixth grade class from Cedar Ridge Elementary School beat the old top score of 4 Strikes set by Lehi Junior High. The Cedar Ridge Class scored 2 Strikes. Remember, a perfect score is a Negative 3 (-3). Major mistakes made by the crew are called “Strikes”. I momentarily stop the mission and announce the penalty. A quick discussion follows and the mission proceeds. Midnight Rescue mission has three objectives. Each time an objective is reached a strike is removed. If a crew makes no mistakes and reaches all three objectives, their score would be a -3.

I thought a 2 was unbelievable. A score better than a 2 would be as impossible as me winning the Power Ball Lottery! If I had purchased a lottery card today I would have struck gold. The first 6th grade class from Deerfield Elementary scored a 1 on Midnight Rescue!

The Ambassador played his part well. He stood up for freedom and democracy when I tried to prove that an absolute dictatorship was the most efficient way to run a government. He responses were clever- something I rarely see in a 6th grader.

For the most part the captain made good decisions. There were a few errors. He wanted to blow up the satellite and repair ship. The crew worked the stations well. The discipline was outstanding. It was a pleasure to fly a crew like this.

I discussed their performance at the end of the mission. I saved their score for last - you know how you do it - build them up for the cheer. I thought the screaming and cheering coming from their young throats would lift the ceiling right off the Voyager. It was deafening. They were happy and I was pleased. Congratulations to Deefield Elementary for taking top score on Midnight Rescue.

Mr. Williamson

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


American Fork 'Super Teens' get national plaudits
By Amy K. Stewart
Deseret Morning News

AMERICAN FORK — They don't wear capes, leap tall buildings in a single bound or sling sticky webs at bad guys, but Natalie Richards and Brent Anderson are "Super Teens."
The two American Fork High School students are the only ones in Utah to be designated as "Super Teens" by Next Step magazine, a nationally distributed college, career and life-planning publication. Richards and Anderson, both 18 and seniors, are highly motivated and ambitious young people.
The Super Teen contest isn't based on academics. It focuses on extracurricular activities and volunteer work.
Richards plays the harp, speaks French and wants to be a veterinarian. Anderson co-founded a technology business, invented a computer game and volunteers at a local space camp.
Though the contest application didn't focus on scholarship, Richards has a 4.0 grade point average and Anderson a 3.96 GPA. They are both Sterling Scholar and National Merit Scholarship finalists.
The two teens don't win cash or a car for being a Super Teen. They did get their photo on the front cover of the magazine, however, along with a small article inside.
The pair were two of 15 regional winners. There were 185 winners nationally.
Anderson volunteers at the Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center, based in Central Elementary School in Pleasant Grove. Students attend the center as a space camp with flight simulations. At the camp, Anderson teaches junior high and high school students computer programming and multimedia.
He invented a computer game called "Lumen." It is a highly addictive game where the player bounces a laser through certain checkpoints. He also co-founded a tech business called Fiery Ferret that performs information technology work for small or mid-sized businesses. He aims to attend Brigham Young University and major in computer engineering, then get an MBA and a jurisdoctorate degree.
Both have advice for other teens:
"Success in general is doing something you enjoy and doing it well," Richards said.
Anderson said, "You have to believe in yourself."

Monday, March 17, 2008

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Formula for a Successful Life

Troops,

I was asked once how the Space Center "got here".  
"Imagination, Education, and Hard Work!" was my answer.  I've discovered that success is build upon those three things.  
Imagination gives us the belief that anything is possible.  Imagine the amount of Imagination it took to dream up this place!  
Education gives us the tools to give substance to the powerful thoughts generated by imagination.
Hard Work is the hours of labor required to take imagination and education and fuse them together to create a legacy -  something that lasts beyond your years.
  
     • Keep Imagining 
     • Give Education 100 %.
     • Work hard to give your dream a 
        physical presence.
 
Success, in all its forms, is waiting.  Go Get It.

Sincerely,
Mr. Williamson  

I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world. 
Albert Einstein

The Space Center Staff Video: Kepler Distress Call!




Watch our staff in action on the Odyssey

Saturday, March 15, 2008

The IWorlds Foundation's Video of the Space Center

video
The iWorlds Foundation's goal is to make the Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center's experience available to children around the world. This video, shot entirely at the Space Center, will let you see what the Space Center does and what teachers and students think about their experiences at the Center.

Overnight Camp Camper Satisfication Inventory


Hello Troops:
Here are the results from the student survey taken by the campers at
the end of the Overnight Camp of March 14-15, 2008. This camp was sponsored by the the 7th grade Advanced Learning Students (Gifted) of Lakeridge Junior High. There were 44 campers.

Our Flight Directors were:

Voyager: Bryson Lystrup (Shadows: 11 campers)
Phoenix: Megan Warner (Olympia: 6 campers)
Odyssey: BJ Warner (Outlaws: 8 campers)
Galileo: Rachel H (Scorpion Relay: 5 campers)
Magellan: Mr. Daymont (Double Cross: 15 campers)
_________________

The first question: Think about your story in the simulators. Were
they fun? Did it have good characters? Did it challenge your brain or way too easy to solve?

Here are their choices:

A = 1
B = 2
C = 3
D = 4
F = 5

Here are the results. Remember, a 1 is a perfect score.

Voyager story's quality score: 1.20 (Last camp's score: 1.10)

Galileo story's quality score: 1.00 (Last camp's score: 1.20)

Magellan story's quality score: 1.31 (Last camp's score: 1.18)

Odyssey story's quality score: 1.25 (Last camp's score: 1.14)

Phoenix story's quality score: 1.17 (Last camp's score: 1.17)

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE GALILEO FOR TAKING TOP STORY HONORS.

__________________

The next question: How would you grade the Staff of the simulators? Think
about friendliness, helpfulness, and acting.

Voyager staff's quality score: 1.00 (Last camp's score: 1.10)

Galileo staff's quality score: 1.00 (Last camp's score: 1.00)

Magellan staff's quality score: 1.23 (Last camp's score: 1.11)

Odyssey staff's quality score: 1.00 (Last camp's score: 1.00)

Phoenix staff's quality score: 1.00 (Last camp's score: 1.00)

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE VOYAGER, PHOENIX, GALILEO AND ODYSSEY FOR TAKING TOP STAFF HONORS.
____________________

The next question: How much did you enjoy your job in the simulators?
Choices: (1 = Great; 2 = Good; 3 = OK; 4 = Not So Good; 5 = Bad)

Voyager job's quality score: 1.50 (Last camp's score: 1.60)

Galileo job's quality score: 1.60 (Last camp's score: 1.20)

Magellan job's quality score: 1.54 (Last camp's score: 1.18)

Odyssey job's quality score: 1.00 (Last camp's score: 1.00)

Phoenix job's quality score: 1.83 (Last camp's score: 1.17)

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE ODYSSEY FOR TAKING TOP JOB HONORS.

____________________

The next question: Did you feel doing your job made a difference in the
mission?

The Camper's choices were: Yes(1) Maybe (2) No (3)

Voyager making a difference quality score: 1.00 (Last camp's score: 1.20)

Galileo making a difference quality score: 1.00 (Last camp's score: 1.00)

Magellan making a difference quality score: 1.15 (Last camp's score: 1.11)

Odyssey making a difference quality score: 1.00 (Last camp's score: 1.00)

Phoenix making a difference quality score: 1.00 (Last camp's score: 1.00)

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE GALILEO, ODYSSEY , PHOENIX AND GALILEO FOR TAKING TOP HONORS IN MAKING A DIFFERENCE.
_____________________

The final question: Would you like to come back to the
Space Center again for another mission?

The Camper's choices were: Yes (1) Maybe (2) No (3)

Yes: 98% (43 students)
Maybe: 2% (1 students)
No: 0% (0 students)

The Director's Trophy: Overall Scores averaged:

Voyager: 1.14 LAST WEEK'S SCORE: 1.20
Magellan: 1.25 LAST WEEK'S SCORE: 1.12
Odyssey: 1.05 LAST WEEK'S SCORE: 1.03
Galileo: 1.12 LAST WEEK'S SCORE: 1.08
Phoenix: 1.20 LAST WEEK'S SCORE: 1.07

Overall Average: 1.15 Last Week : 1.10

The OYDSSEY is awarded the Director's Trophy! Super Job BJ Hatch and his staff: Corbin and Christine G.

SATISFACTION SCORES:

Our Satisfaction Scores for the Overnight Camp. Campers were asked the following question at the end of their survey.

1. How would you rate your overall experience for this overnight camp?

Their choices follow:

10 = The funnest thing I've ever done in my life.
9
8
7
6
5 = As Good as watching my Favorite Movie for the first time.
4
3
2
1 = The Most Horrible, Boring time I've ever had.

The students are asked to rate the overall camp experience on that
scale. They are given verbal instructions on the rating system to
insure comprehension.

Here are the results for today's overnight camp.

Voyager: This Week: 9.40 Last Week: 9.56
Galileo: This Week: 9.80 Last Week: 9.60
Phoenix: This Week: 9.5 Last Week: 10
Magellan: This Week: 9.69 Last Week: 8.87
Odyssey: This Week: 9.63 Last Week: 9.57

The GALILEO takes the Prize for Best Satisfication Score!

Overall Ranking by all campers for this Overnight Camp:
This Week's All Ship Average: 9.60 out of a perfect 10.
Last Week's All Ship Average: 9.52 out of a perfect 10

Thanks All for Another Great Overnight Camp!

Thanks for all you do to support the Space Center,

Mr. Williamson

Sunday, March 9, 2008

This Week from the Shire


Spring showers the Shire with a brighter sun and warmer air. The color of wild flowers peppers the fields. Peasants prepare the land for planting. Cool spring breezes chase the stale winter air out of the castle and into hiding. Spirits are as high as the castle's towers and smiles, paired with warm greetings, are shared by all.

Our band of Troubadours spend their days repairing the tents and polishing instruments. With the summer at hand the urgency to prepare is paramount.

Yesterday I met with Master Brent about changes to the Voyager. Our Voyager stage is showing its age and waiting replacement. We’ve saved our shillings over many seasons for this rebuild. Master Brent is the Master Craftsman of the Programming Guild and will oversee the retooling. His reputation is known from the great sea to the Thames River . His skills are sought by kings and nobleman alike. He will respond to their call but only after honoring his commitment to our band.

The talking stretched from the mid day sun to evening. I bid the party adieu at twilight - feeling the exhaustion of age and hours without sleep. Masters Brent, Kyle, and Bridger have my confidence.

We celebrated the birthday of one of the longest serving members of our professional family. Lady Lorraine joined our Troubadour band over fifteen years ago.
Her unshaken hand at the helm has kept our ship afloat through many tempests. Lady Aleta prepared sweets to honor this birthday at our Band’s gathering on Friday’s night.
Our voices joined in song to honor Lady Lorraine. This birthday melody is not one our Troubadours perform well, but what I heard Friday evening surprised me with perfect harmony and enthusiasm. We hope that Lady Lorraine enjoyed her day with family, friends, and our good wishes.

It is Sunday’s midday. I write this parchment with eyes closing like curtains on a tired play. My quill struggles to give permanence to my thoughts. This is the time to put ink away and retire for an afternoon’s rest. May this week bring happiness and the satisfaction of work done well to all.

The Head Cranker


The Head Cranker!

There are times I get chuckles just watching a crew in action on the Voyager. Last week I was running the Voyager mission for a sixth grade class. There were two boys working Damage Control. It just so happens that the camera above the first office always points to Damage Control and Left Wing. The camera's direction gave me a perfect view of "the head cranker".

There are many intense moments in "Intolerance". It is easy for a crew member to become distracted. Once distracted it can take several minutes to refocus a kid back to his job. I'm used to seeing kids abandon their jobs and watch the action as it unfolds around them. This was not the case with one of the boys at Damage Control. Several times during the mission the officer working on the right computer would stop working and look around to follow the excitement of the mission. This was normal. I didn't pay attention. Suddenly the boy on the left computer reached up with both hands to remedy the situation. One hand was placed on back of the other boy's head and the other on his chin - Then "CRANK" the boy turned the boy's head back to his computer. I read his lips. "Get to work!" he said.
In seventeen years I've never seen a kid take the situation into hand like that. The rest of the mission was a joy to watch. Every time the right boy became distracted the left boy would reach up and crank his head back to his computer with the same words, "Get to Work!". I'm guessing it happened over 20 times during the mission. I was amazed that the boy on the right didn't punch the kid out but he calmly would go back to work for a few minutes before looking around again. Crank........ Towards the end of the mission the right boy had worked out a system where he could take super fast glances without getting caught by the boy on the left. He adapted to the situation.
I was amused. It was awesome to watch.

Mr. Williamson

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Overnight Camp Camper Satisfication Inventory



Hello Troops:
Here are the results from the student survey taken by the campers at
the end of the Overnight Camp of March 7-8, 2008. This camp was sponsored by the the 5th and 6th grade students of Barratt Elementary. There were 47 campers.

Our Flight Directors were:

Voyager: Braydn L (Shadows: 11 campers)
Phoenix: Dave Daymont (Supernova: 6 campers)
Odyssey: Caity L. (Outlaws: 8 campers)
Galileo: Bracken F. (Scorpion Relay: 5 campers)
Magellan: Brittney V. (Red Storm Rising: 16 campers)
_________________

The first question: Think about your story in the simulators. Were
they fun? Did it have good characters? Did it challenge your brain or way too easy to solve?

Here are their choices:

A = 1
B = 2
C = 3
D = 4
F = 5

Here are the results. Remember, a 1 is a perfect score.

Voyager story's quality score: 1.10 (Last camp's score: 1.00)

Galileo story's quality score: 1.20 (Last camp's score: 1.00)

Magellan story's quality score: 1.18 (Last camp's score: 1.13)

Odyssey story's quality score: 1.14 (Last camp's score: 1.14)

Phoenix story's quality score: 1.17 (Last camp's score: 1.00)

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE VOYAGER FOR TAKING TOP STORY HONORS.

__________________

The next question: How would you grade the Staff of the simulators? Think
about friendliness, helpfulness, and acting.

Voyager staff's quality score: 1.10 (Last camp's score: 1.00)

Galileo staff's quality score: 1.00 (Last camp's score: 1.00)

Magellan staff's quality score: 1.11 (Last camp's score: 1.07)

Odyssey staff's quality score: 1.00 (Last camp's score: 1.00)

Phoenix staff's quality score: 1.00 (Last camp's score: 1.00)

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE ODYSSEY, PHOENIX AND GALILEO FOR TAKING TOP STAFF HONORS.
____________________

The next question: How much did you enjoy your job in the simulators?
Choices: (1 = Great; 2 = Good; 3 = OK; 4 = Not So Good; 5 = Bad)

Voyager job's quality score: 1.60 (Last camp's score: 1.09)

Galileo job's quality score: 1.20 (Last camp's score: 1.20)

Magellan job's quality score: 1.18 (Last camp's score: 1.07)

Odyssey job's quality score: 1.00 (Last camp's score: 1.29)

Phoenix job's quality score: 1.17 (Last camp's score: 1.00)

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE ODYSSEY FOR TAKING TOP JOB HONORS.

____________________

The next question: Did you feel doing your job made a difference in the
mission?

The Camper's choices were: Yes(1) Maybe (2) No (3)

Voyager making a difference quality score: 1.20 (Last camp's score: 1.09)

Galileo making a difference quality score: 1.00 (Last camp's score: 1.00)

Magellan making a difference quality score: 1.11 (Last camp's score: 1.00)

Odyssey making a difference quality score: 1.00 (Last camp's score: 1.14)

Phoenix making a difference quality score: 1.00 (Last camp's score: 1.00)

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE GALILEO, ODYSSEY, AND PHOENIX FOR TAKING TOP HONORS IN MAKING A DIFFERENCE.
_____________________

The final question: Would you like to come back to the
Space Center again for another mission?

The Camper's choices were: Yes (1) Maybe (2) No (3)

Yes: 100% (47 students)
Maybe: 0% (0 students)
No: 0% (0 students)

The Director's Trophy: Overall Scores averaged:

Voyager: 1.20 LAST WEEK'S SCORE: 1.04
Magellan: 1.12 LAST WEEK'S SCORE: 1.05
Odyssey: 1.03 LAST WEEK'S SCORE: 1.11
Galileo: 1.08 LAST WEEK'S SCORE: 1.04
Phoenix: 1.07 LAST WEEK'S SCORE: 1.00

Overall Average: 1.10 Last Week : 1.05

The ODYSSEY is awarded the Director's Trophy! Super Job Caity L and her staff: Christine G. and Corbin.

SATISFACTION SCORES:

Our Satisfaction Scores for the Overnight Camp. Campers were asked the following question at the end of their survey.

1. How would you rate your overall experience for this overnight camp?

Their choices follow:

10 = The funnest thing I've ever done in my life.
9
8
7
6
5 = As Good as watching my Favorite Movie for the first time.
4
3
2
1 = The Most Horrible, Boring time I've ever had.

The students are asked to rate the overall camp experience on that
scale. They are given verbal instructions on the rating system to
insure comprehension.

Here are the results for today's overnight camp.

Voyager: This Week: 9.56 Last Week: 9.18
Galileo: This Week: 9.60 Last Week: 9.20
Phoenix: This Week: 10 Last Week: 10
Magellan: This Week: 8.87 Last Week: 9.87
Odyssey: This Week: 9.57 Last Week: 9.43

The PHOENIX takes the Prize for Best Satisfication Score! Great Job Dave Daymont, Rachel H., and Alex M.

Overall Ranking by all campers for this Overnight Camp:
This Week's All Ship Average: 9.52 out of a perfect 10.
Last Week's All Ship Average: 9.54 out of a perfect 10

Thanks All for Another Great Overnight Camp!

Thanks for all you do to support the Space Center,

Mr. Williamson

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


Top 10 Star Trek Tech
Bill Christensen, Technovelgy.com

Classic Star Trek contributed more to the modern world than phrases like "Beam me up, Scotty!" Many of the devices we saw decades ago are now available for use in the real world; we thank the engineers who made real these ten Star Trek technologies. - Bill Christensen, Technovelgy.com

Number 10
Star Trek popularized the idea of a communicator that could instantly connect two crew members on different parts of a planet. To answer the device, you just flipped it open and started talking. Of course, everyone recognizes this device today as a cell phone. Amateur electronics wizards have occasionally made replica Star Trek communicators available on eBay; they use Bluetooth technology to piggyback on your cell phone service.

Number 9
When Enterprise crew members became sick, Dr. McCoy was able to diagnose the problem in record time, usually thanks to his medical tricorder. Today's physicians make use of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and CAT scans in much the same way. For smaller bugs, NASA has actually tested a similar kind of device on the space station. The LOCAD-PTS is able to detect and identify within minutes environmental pathogens (fungi or bacteria) that could adversely affect the health of crew members.

Number 8
The Enterprise constantly dealt with intelligent beings throughout the galaxy. When different languages were encountered, the Universal Translator was there to help bring different cultures together. In the real world, the US military is using the Phraselator in Iraq for speech translation and Internet juggernaut Google, among others, can translate Web sites to suit user needs. Also, just this month, NEC announced the first cell phone with speech translation.

Number 7
When the crew of the Enterprise received a well-deserved shore leave, they needed some kind of money to buy goods and services. The science fiction standby of "credits" was usually brought into the picture. Today, however, real-life astronauts can use colorful QUID's (Quasi Universal Intergalactic Denomination), which are specially designed for use in space.

Number 6
The Enterprise's transporter was able to zero in on the exact location of an individual crew member from thousands of miles away. Although we're still working on teleportation (see USAF Looks Into Teleportation), we've pretty much got the location technology down pat. It's called the Global Positioning System - GPS.

Number 5
Whenever Spock beamed down to a planetary surface, there was one thing he always took with him - his trusty tricorder. This handy pocket-sized device could do things like analyze the minerals in soil and look for life signs. NASA is ready to send similar sensors to Mars in coming years like the Raman spectrometer.

Number 4
This surgical technique is a non-invasive way to destroy unwanted masses within the body (like uterine fibroids) without harming the surrounding tissues. I seem to recall Dr. McCoy touting the advantages of doing surgery without using knives decades ago. On one occasion, he saved Chekov with a nifty little non-invasive surgery device saying "Put away your butcher knives and let me save this patient before it's too late!"

Number 3
Transparent aluminum armor (aluminum oxynitride - ALON) is being tested by the military as a lighter and stronger alternative to traditional materials. ALON is a ceramic compound with very high compressive strength and durability; it offers better performance than traditional materials consisting of bonded glass. in extensive testing, ALON has performed well against multiple hits of armor-piercing rounds. Trek fans fondly recall how the formula for (science-fictional) transparent aluminum came to our time; Scotty blabbed it to an engineer.

Number 2
Several prototype PHASR weapons are being tested by the US military. The Personnel Halting and Stimulation Response device is under development at the Air Force Research Laboratory's Directed Energy Directorate. The PHASR has been designed as a non-lethal, man-portable deterrent weapon. It uses a laser system with two different wavelengths to blind (temporarily!) the enemy. The clever acronym for this device is obviously back-formed to resemble its original - the phaser rifle from Star Trek, which actually looks very similar

Number 1
A robotic rover called Zoe is the first robot to remotely detect the presence of life. On a NASA-sponsored mission in the harsh Atacama desert in Chile, Zoe was able to detect life by looking for natural fluorescence from lichens and bacteria. Life detection is all the rage now; the European Space Agency will be using the Urey Life Detector on an upcoming Mars mission (see photo). These devices mimic the function of the long range sensors from Star Trek, which could detect life from unreasonably long distances.

Monday, March 3, 2008

A New Look to the Odyssey?


Hello Troops,
Andrew H. is one of our volunteers. He is working on a new 'look' to the Odyssey simulator.
Of course, the real Odyssey sits behind a wall in a room at the Space Center, but in the fantasy world of our stories it needs an exterior look. This look is how it would look in space if it were real. Andrew finished a model of his new Odyssey. I thought I'd post it here for all to see and comment on.

Mr. Williamson

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Camps, My Gray Hair, and Other Things.



March 2, 2008

We’ve had textbook perfect overnight camps the last two weeks. The kids had a great time based on the post camp surveys. I want to thank the staff and volunteers for giving their best and almost best. There are always ups and downs and room for improvement but when all is said and done we did very well.

Overnight camps are difficult for me. Over the last seventeen years exhaustion, like my thinning - graying hair, has become a more constant camp companion. By 7:00 P.M. Friday evening I’ve already run ten to fifteen missions and put in over fifty hours at the Space Center. Now add the overnight camp and a full day of Saturday missions and that number hits 70 hours! That is two weeks of work I do in one week - year round. I have one day off a week - Sunday. Sunday is my day to do everything else required for a semi private life and then back to work on Monday.

By overnight mission time my patience is feeding off fumes. When you see me at my desk with headphones I’m working on time schedules, private mission bookings. emails, the budget, phone calls, summer camp bookings, and everything else. I have one hundred things to do with very limited time. If my answers to your questions are quick and to the point I’m not trying to be rude - I’m tired. When I don’t always have a smile and bounce in my walk its because I’m slightly wore out and reserving my energy and cheerfulness for the campers.

By Friday many of you are done with school and ready to have some fun. You enjoy coming and working with your friends. You laugh and bring a friendly atmosphere to the Center. Don’t let my ‘to the point’ demeanor bring you down. Just give me a little space, try not to ask me too many questions (hold them until Saturday morning - you'll have a better chance of getting a good answer), and be attentive to your campers. I’ll be my ‘normal’ self again Saturday morning after my good four hours of camp sleep.

I want to thank those staff members that understand the commitment and hours I give the Center and do their best to share my load by taking care of my number one concern - the campers. Thank you for greeting them with a smile and a warm, contagious personality. Thank you for staying with them, even during training. Thank you for turning off your cell phones and not using your work time for personal socializing. Thank you for not gossiping about other staff. Thank you for dressing correctly with your staff shirt and black pants. Thank you for stopping to pick up trash and vacuuming a carpet without being asked. Thank you for making me aware of potential hazards. Thank you for your time. Your volunteering relieves the stress of how I staff the Center with our small budget.

Thank you all and I apologize in advance for the next several years of Friday Night grumpiness.

Mr. Williamson

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Overnight Camp Camper Satisfication Inventory


Hello Troops:
Here are the results from the student survey taken by the campers at
the end of the Overnight Camp of February 29 - March 1, 2008. This camp was sponsored by the the 6th grade students of Barratt Elementary. There were 45 campers. A special note, this is the second week the Phoenix acheived a perfect score! Very rare indeed. Great Job Phoenix crew!

Our Flight Directors were:

Voyager: Bryson Lystrup (Shadows: 11 campers)
Phoenix: Dave Daymont (Supernova: 6 campers)
Odyssey: Stacy Carroll (Outlaws: 8 campers)
Galileo: Taylor T. (Scorpion Relay: 5 campers)
Magellan: Brittney V. (Red Storm Rising: 15 campers)
_________________

The first question: Think about your story in the simulators. Were
they fun? Did it have good characters? Did it challenge your brain or way too easy to solve?

Here are their choices:

A = 1
B = 2
C = 3
D = 4
F = 5

Here are the results. Remember, a 1 is a perfect score.

Voyager story's quality score: 1.00 (Last camp's score: 1.00)

Galileo story's quality score: 1.00 (Last camp's score: 1.20)

Magellan story's quality score: 1.13 (Last camp's score: 1.07)

Odyssey story's quality score: 1.14 (Last camp's score: 1.50)

Phoenix story's quality score: 1.00 (Last camp's score: 1.00)

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE VOYAGER, GALILEO AND PHOENIX FOR TAKING TOP STORY HONORS.

__________________

The next question: How would you grade the Staff of the simulators? Think
about friendliness, helpfulness, and acting.

Voyager staff's quality score: 1.00 (Last camp's score: 1.00)

Galileo staff's quality score: 1.00 (Last camp's score: 1.20)

Magellan staff's quality score: 1.07 (Last camp's score: 1.13)

Odyssey staff's quality score: 1.00 (Last camp's score: 1.13)

Phoenix staff's quality score: 1.00 (Last camp's score: 1.00)

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE VOYAGER, PHOENIX, GALILEO AND ODYSSEY FOR TAKING TOP STAFF HONORS.
____________________

The next question: How much did you enjoy your job in the simulators?
Choices: (1 = Great; 2 = Good; 3 = OK; 4 = Not So Good; 5 = Bad)

Voyager job's quality score: 1.09 (Last camp's score: 1.10)

Galileo job's quality score: 1.20 (Last camp's score: 1.00)

Magellan job's quality score: 1.07 (Last camp's score: 1.13)

Odyssey job's quality score: 1.29 (Last camp's score: 1.38)

Phoenix job's quality score: 1.00 (Last camp's score: 1.00)

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE PHOENIX FOR TAKING TOP JOB HONORS.

____________________

The next question: Did you feel doing your job made a difference in the
mission?

The Camper's choices were: Yes(1) Maybe (2) No (3)

Voyager making a difference quality score: 1.09 (Last camp's score: 1.10)

Galileo making a difference quality score: 1.00 (Last camp's score: 1.20)

Magellan making a difference quality score: 1.00 (Last camp's score: 1.20)

Odyssey making a difference quality score: 1.14 (Last camp's score: 1.13)

Phoenix making a difference quality score: 1.00 (Last camp's score: 1.00)

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE GALILEO, MAGELLAN, AND PHOENIX FOR TAKING TOP HONORS IN MAKING A DIFFERENCE.
_____________________

The final question: Would you like to come back to the
Space Center again for another mission?

The Camper's choices were: Yes (1) Maybe (2) No (3)

Yes: 100% (45 students)
Maybe: 0% (0 students)
No: 0% (0 students)

The Director's Trophy: Overall Scores averaged:

Voyager: 1.04 LAST WEEK'S SCORE: 1.06
Magellan: 1.05 LAST WEEK'S SCORE: 1.11
Odyssey: 1.11 LAST WEEK'S SCORE: 1.25
Galileo: 1.04 LAST WEEK'S SCORE: 1.12
Phoenix: 1.00 LAST WEEK'S SCORE: 1.00

Overall Average: 1.05 Last Week : 1.11

The PHOENIX is awarded the Director's Trophy! Super Job Dave Daymont and his staff: Rachel H. and Hanne P.

SATISFACTION SCORES:

Our Satisfaction Scores for the Overnight Camp. Campers were asked the following question at the end of their survey.

1. How would you rate your overall experience for this overnight camp?

Their choices follow:

10 = The funnest thing I've ever done in my life.
9
8
7
6
5 = As Good as watching my Favorite Movie for the first time.
4
3
2
1 = The Most Horrible, Boring time I've ever had.

The students are asked to rate the overall camp experience on that
scale. They are given verbal instructions on the rating system to
insure comprehension.

Here are the results for today's overnight camp.

Voyager: This Week: 9.18 Last Week: 9.60
Galileo: This Week: 9.20 Last Week: 9.80
Phoenix: This Week: 10 Last Week: 10
Magellan: This Week: 9.87 Last Week: 9.67
Odyssey: This Week: 9.43 Last Week: 10

The MAGELLAN takes the Prize for Best Satisfication Score!

Overall Ranking by all campers for this Overnight Camp:
This Week's All Ship Average: 9.54 out of a perfect 10.
Last Week's All Ship Average: 9.81 out of a perfect 10

Thanks All for Another Great Overnight Camp!

Thanks for all you do to support the Space Center,

Mr. Williamson