Mother's Day is this Sunday. Give Your Mom a Hug
Did I ever tell you how much I both hate and like lilacs? I opened the window yesterday to air out the house. A morning fresh breeze filled the kitchen with the scent of lilac. I stood by the sink and enjoyed the sweet smell of spring. Then, IT hit. My nose was the first to lose control of its faculties. Both spigots opened wide, release a torrent of....... I won't go into detail. My eyes, jealous the nose's new found freedom, followed suit. I reached for a kitchen wash cloth with one hand and a package of Claritin with the other. The lilacs got to me. I've been in a antihistamine induce semi-coma for 36 hours. I'm hating life.
So, leaving all cleverness aside, let's just get on with the news, views and Imaginarium so I can lay down on the couch and drift in and out of consciousness. I really need to look at the packaging when I purchase my allergy medicine. 'Non' really means something when attached to adjective 'Drowsy' in the description of Hay Fever pills.
A 4 Minute Version of Mark Lewis' Fantastic Space Center Documentary
Space and Science News
Monster Hawaiian Telescope Approved
The summit of Mauna Kea on Big Island, Hawaii, already plays host to 13 observatories and now a new, monster addition the telescopic family is one step closer to reality.
The Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) will dwarf all of its Mauna Kea siblings. The dome, pictured above, will house a huge 30-meter, 492-segment mirror capable of capturing observations 12-times sharper than the Hubble Space Telescope. The project is a collaboration between Caltech, the University of California and the Association of Canadian Universities for Research in Astronomy (ACURA). Read More
The Water Cycle Made Easy
Artist makes portraits from DNA found in chewing gum and cigarettes
Have you ever seen a wad of chewing gum on the sidewalk and wondered about the person who spat it out? Artist Heather Dewey-Hagborg has done more than wonder. She collects errant hairs, cigarette butts, fingernails, and discarded chewing gum from public places and using the DNA she finds, creates 3D portraits of how the owners of this discarded genetic material might look. Read More
News from Dream Flight Adventures, Pennsylvania
A Spectacle for Superintendents
Yesterday I had the pleasure of presenting Dream Flight Adventures to the movers and shakers in the Pittsburgh region’s formal education arena at the Superintendent’s Forum at the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Pittsburgh. It was quite the party, and if you’ve ever attended a formal event for school district superintendents you know what I’m talking about. Those superintendents sure know how to cut a rug. :)
I co-presented with Bryan O’Black, the Director of Curriculum & Technology at the Shaler Area School District, and everyone seemed very excited to learn about the tremendous success the IKS Titan has been having at the Shaler Area Elementary School.
For everyone far and wide who didn’t have the opportunity to attend, here are some answers to the questions that school districts frequently ask us:
How much does a Dream Flight Adventures™ simulator cost to install?
The answer to that depends on a lot of things, but I like to use the IKS Titan project as a starting point. That project came as the result of a generous grant of $80,000 from the Grable Foundation and covered all the technology hardware (roughly $20K), the non-tech hardware (wood, drywall, nails, etc.), the license to the simulator platform, the development of several simulator missions, training, professional development for the school’s teachers, and various miscellaneous expenses. When schools are interested in installing a Dream Flight Adventures simulator we use this ballpark figure as a starting point and then adapt based on the circumstances of the individual situation.
How are our simulators built?
Our simulator platform—which includes software for a full crew of interdependent and interactive student stations, as well as an ever-growing library of missions—is ready for deployment far and wide. The simulators use off-the-shelf electronics (iPads, PCs, projectors, etc.), a little decorative theming, and a solid dose of theater and storytelling magic. The immersive environments themselves are extremely flexible and can be installed in essentially any location and layout.
The basic foundation of the simulators is primed and ready to go. Each specific installation can use this foundation as a starting point and then customize it to suit their needs. In the case of the IKS Titan, the district’s own facilities crew—most notably the multi-talented Bob Gasowski—constructed the simulator and added many personal touches that really bring the environment to life!
Simulator construction is also something that the students themselves can participate in. Our partners at the Discovery Space Center and Christa McAuliffe Space Center have accomplished tremendous things through the work of creative and industrious students.
What simulations are included?
I like the use the analogy of a movie theater that, once built, can play any number of movies. Likewise, once a Dream Flight Adventures simulator is installed, any mission from our simulation library can be used. We’re constantly working with partners to create new missions, and every location that installs a new simulator has the option of including custom missions, which further add to our library of simulations.
Also, even the students can get involved in creating new simulations. This is already in place through our Dream Weaver Challenge, and we will be further integrating our mission creation process with middle and high school writing, science, and programming classes.
How is the curriculum integrated into the simulators?
This is a major component of what makes Dream Flight Adventures so incredible, and we have a whole page dedicated to this topic.
How can I get started?
Woody Allen said that 80 percent of success is simply showing up. We not only show up, but we also answer the phone and return emails! Simply contact us to get the conversation started.
Marking the ordinary, Extraordinary...... one sniffle at a time.