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

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Pictures of Utah Valley's Two New Starship Simulators. They Open in September! Space and Science News. The Imaginarium

Hello Troops,
     I'm feeling embarrassed because I did something I shouldn't have done. I know better and should have caught the mistake before I clicked the "Publish" button.  I KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THEIR AND THEY'RE.  What can I say?  I was tired, worn out, befuddled, bewildered, or all of the above.  It got by me and that is all there is to say.  Let that be a lesson to my students; English will sneak up and bite you if you're not vigilant.

Two New Simulators Under Construction.
An Update on their Progress  

     My Saturday started in the London Room at Renaissance Academy.  I met with a one of my student's parents who had two years experience running a First Lego League team.  We discussed the ups and downs of starting a First Lego League team at Renaissance.  The work required to produce a good team appears to be more than I want to give, considering I'm working as a volunteer for Shelley Elementary's Lego League team in American Fork.  Our discussion included his work as a Coderdojo
neighborhood coach.  Coderdojo would be perfect fit for the Farpoint organization's Programming Guild.  I'll let you click on the link to read more about it.  Cadets, let me know your thoughts on starting a Coderdojo at Renaissance as part of our Farpoint Club.
     I drove away from Renaissance after having run off mountains of worksheets.  That's right, I said mountains.  Why give the little darlings even a moment of free time?  Keep them busy night and day; that's the mission of a good modern teacher.  And don't even use that four letter "P" word on me.  Why should they be allowed to 'play' when there are so many things to learn?  Those state exams aren't going to take themselves, are they?

The entrance to Lakeview Academy at Saratoga Shores
     My next stop was Lakeridge Academy to take pictures of soon to open USS Leo.  The Leo is a joint venture between the school and DSim.  DSim is the name of a new company formed by Casey Voeks, the Bott Family of Discovery Space Center, and others.  DSim's mission is to spread the Space Center concept to schools nationwide.  Lakeview's Leo is their first school based ship.

BJ Warner is the Leo's Director

     The USS Leo is right off the school's newest gym (Lakeview has two gyms).  You enter the gym and turn right.  The ship's entrance is right there.

The entrance to the USS Leo

The viewing area, the hallway to the bridge (running to the left from the viewing area) and the Control Room

A corner of the Leo's Control Room.  It has its own air conditioner / heater.  A blessing for
the simulator's flight directors.

BJ leads me onto the simulator's bridge

BJ looking up at the hidden light channel running along the walls.
Notice he is standing on a raised platform. A two level bridge is a must for
any self respecting ship!

The double doors leading off the bridge and into the gym
Casey Voeks was giving me the grand tour

Lakeview emphasizes the six pillars of character. 

This building sits behind the school.  There is talk of turning it into
a full fledged Space Center should the Leo prove to be beneficial. 

     The USS Leo is scheduled to open before the end of September.  Check The Troubadour daily for news and updates.  This is a simulator you'll want to visit.  The Leo will take private missions after school and Saturdays.
     My next Saturday stop was Sports Cuts.  I hate getting hair cuts but it is a necessity. I've yet to find a stylist who can take the hair they're removing from the sides of my head and attach it to the top of my head to cover the every growing deforested section.  It seems like a simple request.  They laugh thinking I'm joking.....
    After shedding a few pounds of hair, I drove to the Space Center (CMSEC) to take pictures of the Odyssey II's construction.  Megan met me at the door and informed me that Nathan Young was awarded his Galileo Flight Director Pass and was about to start his first solo mission as a new FD.  

Nathan briefing his first Galileo crew in the Central School's Conference Room.

Nathan Young, the Space Center's newest Flight Director.
Congratulations Nathan!
     Nathan is one of those awesome kids who heard and responded to the Space Center's Siren Song.  He started as a volunteer and worked his way up through the system to where he is now, a Flight Director and Discovery Space Center tech.  I'm honored to know and work with such outstanding young men and women.  They are dedicated to their craft and to their crews.  Congratulations Nathan, I know you'll do a great job.
     Before snapping the Odyssey's pictures, I stopped to watch a bit of a Magellan private mission.  I was surprised to find Jacque Wallace at the ship's controls.  "Was she pretending to be flight directing?" I wondered to myself.  Connor Larsen explained that she was training under his supervision.  I watched for a few minutes and will admit that I was impressed.  Good job Jacque!

Jacque neck deep in controls, but managing to stay afloat

Jacque had good help in the Magellan's control room.  Brandy is at the computer,
Farpoint Cadet Spencer is watching and training, Andrew is peering around the corner and
Connor is off camera.

     My last stop of the afternoon was the new Odyssey II.  I don't know about you, but I'm really excited for this ship's opening.  The Odyssey was my second simulator after the Voyager.  It held a special place in my heart (a love / hate relationship for sure).  The orginial Odyssey was in really bad shape and needed to go - one of the reasons for the Space Center's closing last year.  It was unsure whether another ship would be built to take her place.
     Last spring I asked the district to build a replacement for the Odyssey.  A new Odyssey would allow the Space Center to take two classes per day instead of the one we currently taking.  I was pleased they took my advice and moved ahead with the project.
     Megan Warner is the Space Center's new director.  She has been working with Dr. Carter, principal of Central School, and Alpine District Maintenance to create an unique, one of a kind simulator.  The new Odyssey will be awesomely spectacular - a tribute to the ship that came before.  It will open for field trips, private missions and day camps at the end of this month.  Watch for further postings right here on The Troubadour.

The entrance to the old Space Center Office.  The Phoenix's Control Room door is
on the right.  The Odyssey's Control Room door is on the left, right where the
original Odyssey's was located.

The Odyssey's new control room. The two wall boxes rest next to the
old library door.  That problem doorway was removed and wall over.
Noise bleed through into the library shouldn't be a problem.

I had to get a shot of Dave Daymont running a mission in the Phoenix.
The Space Center stays open and flying right through construction!

The hallway turns to the right leading to the Odyssey's main entrance

The hallway ends.  The Odyssey's entrance is to the left.  The door if front
leads to the Phoenix's hatch.  A left turn will take you down a short hallway and into the Voyager.

The Odyssey's Bridge.  Look at that cool ceiling partition running the length of the bridge.
It will hide the rope lighting used to diffuse light onto the ship's ceiling. 

Looking toward the back of the ship

The back Engineering Section.

Megan is explaining where the new engineering panels will be located

Megan standing in front of the where the ship's main viewer will be located

     The illustration above shows how the Odyssey will look when completed.  The ship will hold up to 10 people for field trips, private parties and camps.  Call Megan at 801.785.8713 for further information and to book your party.

Mr. Williamson


Commercial from Thailand

J.K. Rowling is Writing a New Movie Script for the Harry Potter Universe

     Warner Bros. has just announced a new Harry Potter movie that probably won't actually star Harry Potter. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is the first in a new series of movies set in the world of Harry Potter, and the screenplay will be written by J.K. Rowling herself.  Read More

Voyager I has Left the Solar System.  These are the Sounds of Interstellar Space.

Voyager 1 has left the solar system, and this time – this timeNASA says it's officialVoyager 1 has become the first man-made object to soar through what astronomers refer to as the interstellar medium, the matter that makes up the regions of space interspersed between our galaxy's scattered star systems.

As this video from NASA's Jet Propulsion laboratory explains, the "sounds" you hear reflect the detection of dense, ionized gas (the "interstellar plasma" that fills the space between star systems like ours and, say, Alpha Centauri) by Voyager's plasma wave instrument. Via JPL:
The soundtrack reproduces the amplitude and frequency of the plasma waves as "heard" by Voyager 1. The waves detected by the instrument antennas can be simply amplified and played through a speaker. These frequencies are within the range heard by human ears.
These shrill, wraithlike cries are what helped the Voyager science team determine the density of the interstellar medium, and ultimately deduce that the spacecraft had really, actually, finally left the solar system...

Carl Sagen on the Voyager's Golden Record

The Imaginarium
Make the Ordinary, Extraordinary like the new USS Leo and USS Odyssey

Now you're ready for camping

Will it ever go off?

The carpet design in a book store


Caitlynn said...

Erm... You forgot an 'am' in that first sentence....

Bradyn S. said...

Hmmmm.... Red button, grey button, red button, grey button, red, grey *continues* Darn it, I can't choose.....

Isaac O. said...

I call being first volunteer to work on the new Odyssey!! :P