It was a busy Saturday at Pleasant Grove's new Discovery Space Center (DSC). I found the staff rushing from ship to ship in a frantic attempt to finish their ToDo lists before the DSC officially opens for field trips on Wednesday. DSC Director Casey Voeks was nowhere to be found. One of my sources at DSC told me (in the strictest confidence, and with a promise that I wouldn't put it in the blog) that Casey suffered a mini-nervous breakdown earlier that morning, brought on by all the computer glitches that plagued their Friday night test mission in the Atlantis. Apparently, one of the DSC's flight directors mistakenly, but with the best intentions, plugged a simulator network cable into a camera socket instead of the main router. Several hours into the mission the lost cable was found and redirected. Afterwords, the Atlantis ran as well as could be expected, considering it was the first test run of an entirely new set of starship controls, created by resident genius and all around good guy, Matt Ricks.
The Simulator's Main Hallway with newly installed lights.
Fantastic! Book your missions now at the Discovery Space Center
I take my hat off to Stonegate's management, Ryan and Randy Bott, and to the Space Center's wonderful current and former staff who are now DSC employees, for the work they've done in building the DSC's simulators in record time. They have given everything; suffering bumps, bruises, cuts and hammered thumbs, in a mad rush to do the impossible - build four new starship simulators in two months! Fourteen and fifteen hour days are nothing to the DSC crew. I hate to admit it, but they even put me to shame - and I'm the king of impossibly long work days. They know what the Space Center means to the community and are dedicated to bringing the magic of the CMSEC to the DSC.
Brent Anderson and I spent Saturday afternoon putting together a new web site for our Space EdVentures Foundation's new educational program - Farpoint Academy. Farpoint Academy is a joint venture between our Space EdVentures Foundation and the good folks at the Stonegate Center for the Arts, who will provide classroom space at no charge. Farpoint programs and activites will be housed at Stonegate, and possibly Central School, if the Alpine District gives its permission on March 12th.
All Farpoint Cadets will have the opportunity to volunteer in the DSC's simulators. In addition to volunteering, our cadets will have opportunities to take classes in web design, astronomy, space exploration, aviation, geology, nuclear science, computer programming, drama and video production.
I'm really excited about Farpoint's SimLabs. SimLabs will be special classes in science, government, finance, math, history, and civics taught through simulations. Cadets will earn points and web badges for each SimLab successfully completed. These points and badges can be used for seniority in Farpoint's Long Duration Missions (LDMs).
Long Duration Missions
Farpoint's Cadets will be assigned to flight teams. Flight teams will compete against each other in Long Duration Missions (LDMs). My 6th grade class pioneered LDMs in the 1980's, long before the first ship was built at Central Schoool. My original LDMs ran several months. The missions were broken into weekly segments and told on the bridge of our make-believe ship housed in the school's cafeteria or gym. My students used my hand drawn poster board controls (this was before the days of personal computers) to operate the ship. After each mission segment, the students spent the rest of the week planning and preparing for the next segment. These LDMs were a lot of fun. I'm excited to bring them back.
Joining Farpoint Academy
Farpoint's web site will go online at the end of the week. The Cadet Application will be available on the web site. Current Space Center volunteers are guaranteed cadet positions. Watch this blog for further updates.
The WayBack Machine
Hold On. Controls Set to 2002.
Here we are in the gym at the end of a July 2002, 48 hour camp. Left to right; Aleta Clegg, Rio Downs, Jennifer Remy, Chris Call and Mark Daymont
July 19, 2002
The brave and stunned crew of the orginial Magellan. The camper on the second row fleft makes me chuckle.
Did you know that the original Magellan was issued a variety of Imacs (colors) from the District's Technology Department? I brought the problem to our principal, Dan Adams. Dan and I looked at our flower garden simulator of purple, raspberry, orange and blue Imacs and laughed at our predicament. Dan asked, "What are we going to do?". I answered, "go and swap them for raspberry Imacs from the other schools." I knew several other schools received their Imacs that same week. Dan brought his truck to school that next morning, and the two of us went school to school trading our blue, orange and purple Imacs for their raspberrys. I would have preferred a blue computer lab, but we had more raspberry computers to start with. District Technology was not happy when they learned of our outing. We had to ask forgiveness and promise never to do something like that again. Such is the story of my life at the Space Center.
The Admiral's Station on the Original Magellan.
Bracken Funk and Brady Young in the Voyager's Crew Quarters.
Aleta Clegg. Master Chef of the Summer Camps.
James Porter enjoying his Galileo Crew. July 2002
Today, James is starting his own Space Center in Logan, Utah.
A Happy Place where Human Creativity and Imagination Run Wild. Remember to always look for opportunities to make the ordinary, extraordinary.
The Right Way to Vacation.
I found this very helpful.
Kim Jong Piggy, Dictator of North Korea, announces his new policy of launching a nuclear first strike against the United States for imposing new sanctions on his luxury goods.
America's response was to respond in kind.
Poor Kim Jong Piggy
Not what you'd want to see out the window of your plane
Creativity is expressed many ways.
"YES, volunteering is coming BACK!"
A subway entrance in Frankfurt
A pedestrian walkway in China.
The Imaginarium Salutes Imagination in Design
"Go outside and get some fresh air," mother said.
Pages from a Grown-up's coloring book
A unique waterpark.
Something tells me this won't end well.
It really worked!