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.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

News, Answers to your Emails, Letter to the Editor and the Imaginarium

Hello Troops,
I was told the Facebook group "Save the Space Center" made a short presentation to the school board and district officials Tuesday evening at the monthly board meeting.   Casey Voeks, chairman of the organization, reported our fans were well behaved and respectful.   I'm happy to hear that.  I was also told about one small blemish in the presentation.  Apparently Casey Voeks got a bit long winded and exceeded his allocated minutes.  We all know Casey suffers from a condition called dilectionem vox (love of one's own voice).  This malady runs rampant through current and former Space Center Flight Directors.  It was further reported that he ignored one time warning and continued with his remarks. A muzzle may be needed for future events :)  

The Space Center has always been a school, community and business partnership.  We wouldn't be here today had we not had our school district's support.  We wouldn't be here today had we not had community support.  The Space Center's guests provide most of the Space Center's yearly operating budget through camp and class tuitions and private party bookings.   We wouldn't be here today had we not had support from the business community in the form of grants and donations.   Partnerships like these make strong schools; strong schools produce a well educated citizenry.


I want to thank everyone for their continued support of the Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center.
Sharon Christa McAuliffe, was the first teacher to fly in space. Selected from among more than 11,000 applicants from the education profession for entrance into the astronaut ranks, McAuliffe had been born on September 2, 1948, the oldest child of Edward and Grace Corrigan. Her father was at that time completing his sophomore year at Boston College, but not long thereafter he took a job as an assistant comptroller in a Boston department store and the family moved to the Boston suburb of Framingham. As a youth she registered excitement over the Apollo moon landing program, and wrote years later on her astronaut application form that “I watched the Space Age being born and I would like to participate.”

McAuliffe attended Framingham State College in her hometown, graduating in 1970. A few weeks later she married her longstanding boyfriend, Steven McAuliffe, and they moved to the Washington, DC, metropolitan area so Steven could attend Georgetown Law School. She took a job teaching in the secondary schools, specializing in American history and social studies. They stayed in the Washington area for the next eight years, she teaching and completing an M.A. from Bowie State University, in Maryland. They moved to Concord, New Hampshire, in 1978 when Steven accepted a job as an assistant to the state attorney general. Christa took a teaching post at Concord High School in 1982, and in 1984 learned about NASA's efforts to locate an educator to fly on the Shuttle. The intent was to find a gifted teacher who could communicate with students from space.

NASA selected McAuliffe for this position in the summer of 1984 and in the fall she took a year-long leave of absence from teaching, during which time NASA would pay her salary, and trained for an early 1986 Shuttle mission. She had an immediate rapport with the media, and the teacher in space program received tremendous popular attention as a result. It is in part because of the excitement over McAuliffe's presence on the Challenger that the accident had such a significant impact on the nation.   
http://www.framingham.com
A Letter from a Teacher
Dear Mr. Williamson,
My name is Melanie Smith Skankey, I was a long time camper at the space center and short time volunteer. It has been many years since I have been in the alpine area for I now live in Cedar City working as a teacher. I was however recently informed about the centers current closure. 

I am sure you hear this often but I hope the following message can aid your cause in trying to reopen your door. 

The space center altered my life for the better, it was directly related to my decision to attend college, and pursue eventually a education degree. When I construct lessons for my students I often think about how the space center used a variety of "alternative teaching methods" to instruct me in the areas of leadership, science and critical thinking. Last year I constructed a mini space center experience for my students. While there was no computers, no special transporters or even a voice changer I still have student remember that one day. The teacher I did it with has begged me to repeat the experience because of how it not only united the students but forced them to really think (not something they often experience at school sadly).

My overall point is as a previous camper and now an educator I know that the lesson taught at the space center have a profound and lasting effect on the students who experience it . I will forever be grateful for the experiences I had there. 

If there is any other support I can offer please let me know.
Melanie Skankey
A Letter to the Editor of the Daily Herald
November 14, 2012

I spent my fifth and sixth grade years at Pleasant Grove's Central Elementary in the Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center.
It was one of the most influential periods in my life. My time there shaped the way I look at the world, and developed the skills that I use every day.
It wasn't just the fun of the place, it was the sense of belonging there. Regardless of how weird, or nerdy, or strange I was, there was a place where I was accepted. I don't think that I could have made it through secondary school without the skills I learned there. Skills like thinking on your feet and teamwork that are vital to future life, but are not always emphasized in a traditional classroom setting.
Without the experiences I had there, I would be a completely different person today. I can't adequately express the gratitude I feel for Mr. Williamson and all the staff at the Space Center for the profound impact they made on my life. It would be a travesty to take the experience away from others. I implore the school district and the community to get behind this program to ensure that it will continue.
Matt Bezzant, Pleasant Grove

Answers to Your Questions

Answers to the questions submitted through the comments section of each blog post and from emails.

Kolby asked:
I am also wondering, when the space center opens what it will take to volunteer there. Oh, and why build another building if the Magellan, Galileo, and Phoenix will be reopening next year? 
Kolby,  Please visit our web site's Volunteering page to read the requirements to volunteer. 
The Magellan, Galileo and Phoenix are good for after school and Saturday private missions.  The three ships can't handle large field trips.  The Space Center needs a new building so we can start taking field trips again.


SillyStaff asked:
 Mr. W.
whats going to happen to the space center? I know that you said that you dont know and that its the Alpine School District that decides... But do you at least know what they want to do, our what will most likly happen! I find myself thinking more and more about the space center, I even stood outside today with a sign that said: "To close the Space Center would be: "Illogical."
What can we do to help? Can we all meet infront of the school waving big signs saying save the space center? That way all the staff could see eachother again!
 SillyStaff, our committee will meet again on November 28.  We will be working through the details for a new Space Center building.  We also want to reopen the ships which require the least amount of repair.  Keep your grades up and be ready when the call goes out for volunteers to come back to work.  It will be soon.
Thank you for your dedication and willingness to be a Space Center volunteer.  Keep reading the blog for other ways to help and for news on the Space Center's Open House.

Jordan asked:
Mr.W Thanks so much for everything you have done! With the meeting today are we going to start getting information? Are we planing on staying at the old center or do we get a new building....? A lot of people are being kept in that dark so I was wondering if you could help me out on that one! Thanks
Jordan, we want to reopen the ships that require the least amount of repair.  A new Space Center building will be built, the details of which still must be worked out in the committee.  The school board will make the final decision.

Nathan asked:
If the Space Center will be allowed to re-open the Phoenix, Galileo and Magellan (Possibly), will the Magellan still be renamed as the U.S.S. Magellan instead of D.S.S.? I recall hearing discussions of that idea being explored.
The Magellan has been converted into a Starship.


Anonymous asked:
Wait, are you saying that they might not tear down the ships? And how long do you think the repairs will take for the ships?
The Odyssey must be removed.  It will cost too much to repair.  I don't know what we will do with the Voyager.  It is also too costly to be brought up to current codes.
The Magellan, Phoenix and Galileo should be repairable and opened soon.


The Imaginarium


Space Center Fans laugh at your weak gingerbread house.



A creative way to say "Shoplifters will be prosecuted".



Imagination: A
A perfect way to deal with the kid who can't be trusted in
a grocery store :)


I think the only Christmas Tree bulbs allowed for our school Christmas Trees :)


What teachers do and say in their faculty lounges.


Somebody is waiting for you to get off the computer and accept his friend request.


I keep mine in the truck of my Battlestar


The evolution of music delivery devices.


Privacy bubble.
Imagination: A


I usually never drop money in a tip jar, 
but I'd drop something in this because its creative


Imagination: A
Bet most of you haven't a clue.


You've got to get your hands dirty if you want to change the world.




Star Trek engagement ring



Balloon lights.
Creativity: A


Brillance in engineering.
Take the mundane footbridge and make it extraordinary.
Imagineering at work.


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