Contact Victor Williamson with your questions about simulator based experiential education programs for your school.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Prayers for Those Taken. Your Questions and Comments. News. The Imaginarium

Hello Troops,
I begin this post by honoring the students, teachers and administration of Sandy Hook Elementary whose lives were cut short by a very disturbed young man's senseless act of violence.

I heard of the shootings while teaching at Shelley Elementary Friday afternoon.  The news stunned and saddened me.  Thinking about what happened to those poor people made me homesick for a place that doesn't exist. A place where people love and care for each other.  A place where innocence is protected; not by laws, but by our God given moral compass.  Thinking of those lives lost made me yearn for a place where children are safe anywhere, anytime.  

I looked differently at the young children I was teaching and the ones who walked by me in the school's halls.  I noticed their energy and their love of life and learning.  I couldn't comprehend how anyone could take perverted pleasure in destroying those lives just started and the lives of their caregivers.

How can we stop this from happening again?  Some say the answer is to ban certain types of guns;  Maybe yes and maybe no. I'm sure there will be a national conversation about this.  However, there is something I can do personally.  I can smile more.  I can care more.  I can reach out to young people struggling with life's issues.  I can watch for bullying.  I can urge my local, state and national lawmakers to provide more funding for mental health services.  The troubled people in our communities need professional help before they do something terribly irreversible to themselves and to others.

Sandy Hook Elementary could have been any one of our schools.  I pray this doesn't happen again.

Mr. W.

An Update from the Space Center Committee      

The Space Center Committee met again Thursday in the Space Center's Discovery Room.

A Review:
1.  An update on a possible Thanksgiving Point Partnership; so far the proposal is inconclusive.  The
     school district's business department is looking at the proposal.  The devil is in the details.
2.  Keeping the Center in Pleasant Grove was also discussed.  The committee is sensitive to the fact that
     Pleasant Grove has been the home to the Center for 22 years.  I've been asked to contact Pleasant
     Grove City to see if there is something the city could do financially to help keep the Center here.
3.  The Maintenance Department has the bids in to demolish the Odyssey.  $15,000 is the final number.
     That includes restoring the Briefing Room into a functioning classroom.
4.  Casey Voeks gave a power point proposal outlining the creation of a Space Center Foundation.
     The Space Center Foundation would be an independent organization.  Its mission would be to
     advance the mission of the Space Center, protect the Space Center brand, and assist organizations
     interested in using simulations in education.  He proposed the following:

  • The Space Center Foundation would lease the simulators at Central Elementary School from the Alpine School District after school hours and on weekends.  
  • The Foundation would assume all liability for the lease.  
  • The Foundation would operate the Space Center's Guilds.
  • The Foundation would run private missions, weekend camps, summer camps, merit badge classes, and Super Saturdays.
  • The Foundation would operate an astronomy outreach program to the schools.  
  • The Space Center's employees not involved in the daytime field trip operations of the Space Center would become employees of the Space Center Foundation.   Those who work the Field Trips would remain employees of the Alpine School District - yes, a person could work for both.  
Questions were asked about the cost and length of the lease. This committee agreed to look at Casey's proposal in more detail, asking that he meet with the district's business office to iron out the lease details.

Protecting the Space Center brand is one benefit I see in creating the Space Center Foundation.   Program quality, educational value, and the proper combination of education and entertainment made the Space Center what it is today.  The Foundation would ensure those standards are maintained by any organization calling itself a member of the Space Center family.

The non profit Space Center Foundation will be formally organized in January.  Fund raising for new simulators, and the purchase of a portable planetarium for our outreach programs will begin after the Foundation is formed.  I'm shooting for $1,000,000,000,000 dollars. Is that too much to ask?  Remember, changing the world will be very expensive ;)

A Quote from Carl Sagan
“Long ago, when an early galaxy began to pour light out into the surrounding darkness, no witness could have known that billions of years later some remote clumps of rock and metal, ice and organic molecules would fall together to make place called Earth; or that life would arise and thinking beings evolve who would one day capture a little of that galactic light, and try to puzzle out what had sent it on its way. And after the earth dies, some 5 billion years from now, after it's burned to a crisp, or even swallowed by the Sun, there will be other worlds and stars and galaxies coming into being -- and they will know nothing of a place once called Earth.” -Carl Sagan
And Now, Your Comments and Questions

Cambry Wrote:

Hi, this is Cambry.  I had a few questions about what's been happening. 
1. So... what are the details about Overnight Camps? I'm a little confused. Are we still going to have them ever? 
We won't be hosting Overnight Camps at the current Space Center at Central School.  We lost the sleeping quarters in the Voyager.  The new Space Center building may offer overnight camps.  It is up to the school district to make that decision.  
2. We're still having 5 hour missions, right?
We hope to start those again for Saturdays and summer Day Camps. 
3. What will the Volunteering options be like? If any. 
The volunteer program should stay intact just like it was.
4. Are any ships re-opening? I've heard that the Phoenix, Galileo, and Magellan are. And the Voyager and Odyssey are being torn down? 
You are correct.
5. If any ships are re-opening, when will they be?   January or February
6. What are the details about the new building? Will it still have dungeons for the misbehaved Staff and Volunteers? 
Well, I wish the old Space Center had dungeons, sadly it didn't.  I could use a dungeon for my misbehaving students.  
7. So, are we replacing the phaser system with later tag? That's what I understand, at least. 

Thank you so much! You guys are AWESOME. I will try to support you all in any way I'm able! 

Big supporter and definite fan, 
Julie Wrote:
I like your plan Mr. Williamson. I really like how each side has kind of a connecting staff area. My mind is going crazy with ideas of how to join the ships somehow to make the grand joint mission we've all dreamed of.
I do have a question with this ideal plan though. In an ideal world I think we are all thinking there would be overnight camps, and I'm wondering if you would like to incorporate showers into the plan at all, rather than using the community pool as an excuse to cut down on the stink?
If overnight camps are to be included in a new building, then showers would be a must.  Remember, If it can be done at Clear Creek, then it should be doable at the Space Center. 
 Matt wrote:
With regards to what Alex said about not being able to afford a basement for the proposed new building. I think it would be a huge mistake to not include a basement, even if it was an unfinished basements. The basement need only to be a foundation with supports for the 1st floor. Then, as time goes on and the space center earns money, we would be able to finish the basement, putting in space for storage, away missions etc. This would allow for a cheap(er) expansion to the space center as it grows. Otherwise, the only way to make the building bigger would be by building out or up, both of which would be very expensive. 
We could also do this for an elevator. Leave space in a section of the building where we could later install an elevator (as was done in the Salt Lake temple). We need to think about the future of the space center, even if our current budget will be limited.
I agree
Anonymous wrote:
Couldn't a basement use a ramp? You could have storage space underneath it.
I think a basement is one of the best investments that can be made at this point; it'll allow for future growth, without needing to build upper floors. Even if it were to be a bare basement with few lights, it could serve as a 'bunker' type of area for away missions.
I like the 'Ideal' plan, but it seems to use a bit too much space for me to be comfortable with it, but since a 'slimmed down' concept is coming, I'll wait to pass judgement.
I've been going through my math and physics textbooks and finding concepts that would be easy to teach at the Space Center. It really wouldn't be that hard to mix in some science and math into missions. 
Great suggestions and ideas.
Anonymous wrote:
Something I just thought of: a situation table somewhere. It'd be nice if the crew had somewhere to lay papers out to compare notes and work out problems, kind of like the navigation table on submarines. On the current simulators, there's a problem that people who have to work out problems on paper (like decoders) don't have a whole lot of space to work.
The table would also be helpful for science experiments, etc
I like your thinking 
An Interesting Article to Ponder Over.  Are We Simulations within a Great Simulation? 
Could you be a simulation, within a simulation, within a simulation? You'll never look at the world the same after contemplating this theory. I'll spend the next few days looking for glitches in the matrix. Perhaps that's the way it works. The simulation runs until those in it reach up and touch the sky.  Read More
A Video on the End of the World and the Myan Calender.
 The Imaginarium

 Everybody has their 'White Crayon' times in life.

This is good advice for me.  I've been so busy running the Space Center over the
last 22 years that I almost forgot what it is like to try something new for the first time.

A desktop Christmas Tree for the Nerd in You :)

Be careful.  
Be nice to yourself and to others.

Lyrics to one of my favorite songs.

Be true to yourself.

I followed this advice on Friday after hearing the tragic news about the school shooting.

Talk is just talk.  Your Actions shout out who you are.

And you will until your time is up.  Cherish the moments.
And when its time to go into that good night, do so without regrets.

Not many of you younger readers will know this song.
Great song.  Great lyrics.

Just ask Mr. Scrooge how all that wealth worked out for him.

I love music.
It is the heartbeat of life.

Such difficult choices along the road of make believe.  
For me, straight on is not a choice.

This is going up in my classroom.

A different kind of light.
Creativity: A

Mona, forgot to practice moderation in all things

You only have two hands and one brain.  You can't hold onto everything forever.
Let it go.

Creativity: A

Imagination: A

Creativity: A

"IT" is loose.

 There is no doubt this guy loves the Holiday season.

Making technology easier for our grandparents.

Little Kim Launched a Rocket.


Anonymous said...

I have family in that same area of Connecticut. It really hit close to home when I heard that there was a shooting there.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if it would be possible to give the phasers more powerful lightbulbs...

Isaac O. said...

When I found out what happend at that school, it broke my heart. Why would anybody do such a thing??
I hope that the familys that loss somebody know that we care, and are very sorry for their loss.

C.Wallentine said...

Ha ha ha... I thought of that "Run like you stole something" sign in dance, and I did twice as well. (: It was hilarious.