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.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Volunteer Club Meets for Keyboard Training and the Space Center's Great Wall Under Construction

The Home for our Special Volunteers
(a crow caws in the distance)

Hello Troops,
Flight Directors Emily, Megan and Jon held a special training meeting on Monday, April 2 for the Space Center's special volunteers. The training was held in the computer lab at Central School - home of the Space Education Center.

"Our special volunteers enjoy the time we give them away from the day to day drudge of the Home for Special Volunteers," Emily said. Emily started this special training program last month. She says her special program is a win win for all. "The Space Center wins because we get a better trained staff who require less supervision. The volunteers win because good volunteers get released time from the home on a more regular basis."

Megan and Jon walked the volunteers across the marshlands and bog to the school for the training meeting. There was a bit of a crisis along the way. One of the smaller volunteers was pushed off the well worn path and fell into the marsh. He was up to his neck in mud and muck before Jon successfully pulled him back to dry land with a rope and hook.

" 'bout lost one," Jon meekly confessed to Emily when they arrived. Emily stood outside waiting. She was aghast at the boy's mud pie appearance.

"We've had this conversation before," Emily reminded him. "Lose just one more and you're through."

Jon glanced down at his feet, embarrassed at the dressing down he was given in front of the volunteers. He spoke in his defense, "You can't blame me for...."

"Stop right there," Emily held out her hand as if to strike. Jon winced backward. "Don't start - we still haven't found that boy you lost along the path two years ago." Megan smirked. She's been after Jon's position for several years now. Anything that makes Jon look incompetent and untrustworthy betters the odds of her removing him from his position.

The volunteers marched through the school's halls and into the computer lab.


Each was assigned to a computer. James sat down, licked his lips, mumbled "glass and aluminum" and leaned forward to touch his tongue to the computer. Some people like to smell things. James likes to taste things.

"NO!" Jon spoke sharply. James stopped abruptly - his tongue 1/2 inch from the screen.

"James was going to lick the screen again," Marissa giggled. James kicked her from under the table. Marissa yelped.


"STOP IT!" Jon spoke even more sharply. He caught Emily glancing at him questioningly from the white board. He heard Megan smirking. James went back to chewing on his yellow shirt sleeve - a tactic suggested by his therapist to help overcome the urge.



Jorden raised his hand. "What's today's lesson on?" he asked. Jorden likes to smile. His nickname at the Home is 'Smiler'.

"Good question, ten points for the Blue Team because of Jorden's good question," Emily snapped her fingers and ten points appeared on the Home's House Tally Board. Matthew patted Jorden on the back. Jorden's smile broadened to stretch from ear to ear. Seeing his face contort like that can take you slightly off your mark if you've not seen him do it before.

"STOP IT!" Jon barked. "Smile normally."

"Smiling normally," Jorden's smile released its broad hold on his face, returning his ears to their normal position.

Emily cleared her throat and continued. She was careful not to look at Jorden. "We are going to practice our keyboarding. The biggest problem volunteers have at the Space Center is keyboarding and spelling. We flight directors need volunteers who can keyboard quickly and spell reliably.


Al sat up smartly and spoke out of turn without raising his hand. "I keyboard quick and can spell Reliable."
Kimball smirked. He knew that Al had a hard enough time just finding the home row on the keyboard, let alone type anything readable. Nathan starting making monkey faces and noises. He sat on Al's right. No one knows why, but Nathan makes monkey faces and noises when he feels threatened. Keyboards threaten Nathan - with all the buttons and the consequences for not pushing each one correctly.

"What is that?" Emily questioned, pointing toward Al.

"His name is Nathan," Jon answered. "He's somewhat new to the Home for Special Volunteers. He makes those faces and noises when he feels threatened. Just ignore him. He stops after awhile if you ignore him ."

"I'm not referring to Nathan," Emily moved closer to Al. "What is that on HIS face!?"

"A beard," Jon answered.

"And what is a beard doing on the face of a Space Center volunteer?"

"Is there a policy against it?"

"If there isn't then there should be."

"I'll consult Mr. Williamson on the matter - shall I?" Jon moved toward the door.

"Let's get through this class first." Emily walked back to the white board. "Hands on the home row............"

"STOP THAT!" Jon reached out and stopped James from licking the back of his chair.

Emily continued. "And begin.... A, S, D, F....."


The Space Center's Great Wall.
One of the Space Center's New and Marvelous Wonders


The Great Wall of the Space Center is under construction. This new wonder will divide and separate the school's commons area from the 6th grade hallway. The commons is where the Space Center's Digitarium Planetarium is housed. Noise from the hallways is a constant disturbance during the Space Center's planetarium shows. This new and wonderful wall will solve the noise problem.

In addition to the wall, the Space Center is installing black out curtains in the commons. The black out curtains will completely darken the room. Having a dark room is a real plus because of the tiny pinpricks in the planetarium's fabric dome. The pinpricks let in tiny points of room light into the dome. Each point of light is seen as an extra star in the night sky. I'm sure you get the picture.

The Alpine School District Maintenance Shop is building the wall. It should be finished by week's end. We are all very excited.





Post a Comment