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.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

What the Space Center Did for Me


 The Original Voyager Captain and First Officer's Station.  1990


 The Voyager Captain and First Officer's Station after the first remodel.  1995


The Current Voyager Bridge looking at the Captain's Station.  2012


Hello Troops,

"Save the Space Center" is the name of a new Facebook site sponsored by Brent Anderson and David Kyle Herring, both former employees of the Space Center and long time supporters!

"It's been nearly three months since the Space Center closed for renovations, and as far as we know nothing has been done," David Kyle explained on the Facebook page.

I appreciate the sentiment and enthuasim so many of you have shown toward the Space Center.  Remember, the school district has a difficult decision to make between three options:
 
1.  Spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to renovate the Space Center and bring it completely up
     to current codes.  The district was planning on building a new Space Center on a vacant lot to the
     north of Central School in 2019.  Does it make sense to spend so much money now, only to build
     a new Space Center building in a few years?
2.  Close the Center now, save the renovation money and put it towards the new Space Center
     building.  This plan would also move the new building ahead a few years. 
3.  Close the Space Center completely.  An option on the table but not favored by the vast majority
     of district's administrators and board members.

A decision this important takes time.  Imagine the large amount of data that must be gathered, especially when talking about thousands and perhaps millions of tax payer dollars!  I have a meeting with the district's administrator over the Space Center on Tuesday.  Hopefully she will have the district's decision.  Teachers, students, Space Center staff and volunteers can then plan accordingly. 

I'd like to share a post written by Brent Anderson and taken from the Facebook page.  In this post, Brent explains how the Space Center affected his life.

Please visit Save the Space Center on Facebook and like the page. For more information about the Space Center and its unique mission, visit SpaceCampUtah.org.

The Space Center
by Brent Anderson

I first attended the Space Center at age 10 and was amazed to discover that as a child I could make a difference. I was so influenced by the Center that, after being rejected 3 times for a volunteer position, I decided at age 13 to franchise the place and started finding advisors to help me in my endeavor. When I approached Mr. Williamson with my proposal to create a new, standalone center, he suggested I work there instead. As I left that meeting, I whispered to myself, “Well, here’s to the first day of the rest of my life!”

Over the next 6 years, I not only found an outlet for thousands of volunteer service hours, I was blessed to learn computer programming, networking, databases, web development, information security, 2d and 3d animation, photoshop, and countless other skills in a flexible and safe environment. I was able to give back with these skills in various volunteer classes, working with students who have since gone on to achieve great things in engineering, math, and science. I personally used these skills to start companies, develop a computer programming and information systems consultancy, become self-reliant, and continue to give back on a local, national, and even global scale through software I have developed and sold internationally, and personal contributions to open source software projects used around the globe. I have participated in state-sponsored security presentations, a university lecture series, and even served as a client and judicator for BYU Electrical Engineering Capstone projects - all because of the Space Center. And I’m only 23.

Without the Space Center, my life would be dramatically different. I don’t think I would have had the skills or experience necessary to start companies, to develop mobile apps, to win scholarships in high school, or to receive the State Sterling Scholar in Business award. I wouldn’t have had the exposure to countless contacts in business and industry that have proven very valuable to my business and my clients. The Space Center changed my life forever and for great good, helping me to reach beyond your “average” teenage and young adult experiences and instead to excel and discover the value and importance of volunteerism, of service, and of education.

My dream is to help the Space Center be a permanent pillar of educational experiences in our own community and beyond, a place where students discover the difference they can make and catch a vision of what our world could be like. Simulation in education is an incredible thing, and for over 20 years the Space Center has delighted, inspired, and educated hundreds of thousands of patrons. Even if the profound impact of the Space Center was felt by just a fraction of these patrons, the overall force for good reaching out through changed lives and broadened minds is inestimable. No one can truly measure the number of lives touched by the Space Center and Mr. Williamson. This is why the Space Center is worth keeping, and why I feel an urgency to help make this refit and upgrade as fast, and efficient as possible - so that the Center, her director, and her staff can return to “practicing the discipline of wonder” and begin her next chapter in shaping and inspiring the minds and hearts of children, students, parents, and all patrons once more.
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