What would a Space Education Center school be like if one were built as part of a new Space Center? What is the school's curriculum? How would simulation (both starship and classroom simulations) tie into the curriculum and the day to day operations of the school? What grades would the school service?
What would I build if I could build my dream Space Center School?
I'll let you in on my thought processes. I pull from the right side of my brain and imagine the school in my mind. I walk in while it is in session. I go to the cafeteria, find an empty table, and sit back and watch the teachers, students and staff in action. I listen to what they are saying. I look at their textbooks. I carefully observe. If I see something in my imaginings that doesn't work, I grab a mental eraser, erase the scene and imagine another; and another if necessary, and then another and another until the scene blends well and works with everything around it.
This is the second post to the story of the students and staff at Farpoint Academy.
The 13:00 bell rang. The Voyager crew sat waiting in Farpoint Academy's Briefing Room 4. Each crewmember wore their ship's red tunics. The top of each tunic, from the collar bone up, was colored differently based on your department. Connor's medical team wore blue and red. Amanda's engineers wore dark yellow and red. Philip Simon's science team wore evergreen and red. Maggie Dearborn's languages and humanities department wore black and red. Tanner Edwards and his security team wore gray and red. The command officers wore light yellow and red.
Captain Strong stood just outside the room and out of sight from the rest of their crew with First Officer Miranda Philips at his side.
"Are you ready?" Miranda brushed a bit of lint off her captain's tunic. "The troops are waiting."
Ian straightened his back and put out his chest. "Let's do this. The first Level Two of the year."
Miranda paused for a moment to look for a sign of nerves in her captain's light blue eyes.
"Well?" Ian questioned the delay. Miranda smiled, then turned and walked into the Briefing Room.
"Attention," she shouted. Everyone in the room jumped to a somewhat perfect attention. Every eye stared straight ahead at the white board at the front of the Briefing Room. Ian entered into the room and walked to the podium.
"At ease, you may sit." He looked around the room at his crew of 50. Many of them were good friends from his neighborhood. He'd gone to school with them his whole life. Others he met for the first time when they were assigned to the Voyager at the start of the year. His crew ranged in age from 11 to 18. The youngest were 6th grade ensigns. The older crew called them rookies. The mission experience was foreign to the rookies. They were the cause of most of the team's Level 1 demerits. Most of the crew's Level 2 demerits would come from them as well over the next 3 months.
Ian began his prepared speech. "Troops, the reason the Voyager crew was chosen to get the school's first Level 2 mission was because of our performance on the Level 1 mission. We got high score, so we earned this."
The room erupted into applause and cheering. Ian held both fists high over his head. He was their Caesar. They trusted him completely.
Ian waited for the celebration to quiet down before continuing. "Admiral Schuler is about to come through that door and give us our mission briefing," Ian pointed to the door he had just come out of to the left of the podium. "You know what he's like. I don't want us to get our first demerit today - got it rookies?" Everyone stared at the nearest rookie to where they were sitting. A few rookies got a friendly nudge. Others got a tap on the top of the head. Two sitting in aisle seats found themselves on the floor.
"First level 1 mission demerit right here!" Security Chief Tanner Edwards stood and pointed down to one of the two rookie security officers assigned to his department for that school year. Bradyn Gillies stood and bowed to the boos and jeers.
"OK, so I got the first demerit on the last mission. How was I suppose to know a slime devil could spit across a room?" Bradyn was the crew's joker. He hoped his jovial nature would bring him a bit of sympathy. It didn't.
"I swear I'll trade you for a Phoenix rookie if you get the first demerit on this mission." Tanner smacked him lightly alongside the head before sitting down. The crew laughed. The Phoenix crew got the lowest score on their Level 1 mission.
"I won't," Bradyn replied while looking at the face of Toby Vercellino framed in the Briefing Room door's window. "Toby will."
The door to the Briefing Room opened slightly. In crept Toby Vercellino, a rookie assigned to the Voyager's medical department.
"Ensign, why are you late?" Ian asked. Toby had the room's attention. It wasn't good to be late for a mission briefing. A tardy was an automatic demerit if caught by one of the school's flight directors.
"Attention!" The first officer's voice cut off Toby's stuttering excuse. Admiral Schuler was standing in the doorway looking at the Voyager crew. It was the quintessential Admiral Schuler, complete with immaculately pressed uniform and condescending sneer.
"One demerit. Ensign Vercellino," Admiral Schuler's voice rang throughout the hushed room.
"One demerit, Ensign Vercellino," the computer spoke to register the demerit against the crew's score. A chime rang out of the room's comm link telling everyone a demerit had been recorded.
The Admiral stood in the doorway for what seemed like hours. His modus operandi was to tear his crews down before building them up. He moved toward the podium only after seeing one of the rookies teeter back and forth. The ensign had locked her knees and looked like she was about to have an unpleasant encounter with the twirling floor.
"At ease." The Admiral spoke with authority. The crew sat, most at the edge of their chair. Their fate for the next three months rested in the words he was about to speak.