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Sunday, October 13, 2013

Scientific America Say Science Fiction Plays a Part in STEM Education. Pictures from the Old Voyager's Bridge Taken in 1997. The Imaginarium

Scientific America:  Science Fiction Plays a Part in Engineering Education

An Article from the January 1999 edition of Scientific America
      Does the science fiction, futuristic approach to STEM education we pioneered at the Space Center in Pleasant Grove from 1983 to the present motivate students to study science, technology, engineering and math?  Some educational administrators think not. 
     The battle to keep the Space Center's science fiction curriculum was won thanks to the support we received from thousands of our fans nationwide, but the victory is not secure.  Those who doubt the Space Center's value are still there, questioning whether or not the program should continue to receive district support.  Fortunately, those voices are in the minority.
     Experiential education with engaging simulations is the future of education.  Over time, more and more teachers and administrators will learn the value of simulation based learning.  They will work to find better uses of technology in an effort to create totally immersive lessons.  Why lecture students on ancient Rome when you can take them there instead?  
     Some say the Space Center was ahead of its time. I disagree.  Change must have its pioneers.  My colleagues and I pioneered this strange, wonderful, one of a kind approach to learning in an effort to change education.  Now it is time for the next generation to take what we've done and make it even better.
     Central School's Space Center is open and needs your support.  The Discovery Space Center is open and the USS Leo will open to the public in November.  Book a private mission.  Book a Super Saturday Camp. Book a field trip or birthday party. Winter is coming.  What better way to spend a cold snowy evening or weekend than in a starship on an space edventure deep in the galaxy?    Learn more at
     We have a bright future ahead of us.  Thank you for your continued support to keep the Space EdVenture dream alive.  
Mr. W.

Pictures from a December 1997 Daily Herald Article on the Space Center 

     This is what the original Voyager looked like before the 2000 remodel and computer upgrade.  The Captain sat behind a desk, not in the open.  The Captain had her own computer.  The Ambassador and First Officer sat next to the captain on the platform.  That box hanging around the captain's neck was her walkie talkie to the control room.  I used it to coach her and help her think through decisions.
     The  students were doing Supernova.  This is part of the story where the ambassador and Capt. Marcus exchange insults.      

 I'm giving them their before launch speech.

 I'm seen here teaching the lesson on stars.  I taught the classroom lesson and ran the Voyager in those days.  We only took one class per day back then.  The school district has grown by leaps and bounds.

A younger me showing how gravity forces a dying star to collapse.

     The original Voyager Bridge.  Bottom left to right: Telephone with printer, Decoder, Long Range and another Decoder.  The Left Wing and Damage Control are out of sight on the left.  On the right and behind me are Sensors, Scanning, and two Right Wing officers.  The box in the upper right hand corner of the photo was the old engineering station.  Do you see the engineer's foot?
     We used Mac Pluses and Mac SE's in those days.  They were small, black and white and looked futuristic.  Notice the art work next to the main viewer?  That was the Voyager's original logo.  It is still there, on the wall behind the current large plastic Federation logos.  

The Sensor's officer looks at the main viewer in anticipation.  They are ready to start the mission.  Those uniforms are still in use at the Space Center today.  They are real collector's items.  

The Imaginarium
The ordinary can and should be made extraordinary

Your faith in humanity is restored

Preaching by example

It is such a mess over there.  Only real imagination with cooperation will solve it.

And if you believe this, I've got a lovely view lot on Mars going for a great price.

I put this here not to preach against evolution.  I put this here as an example of a creative engagement on
an issue.

A hoodie backpack

The Queen and her grandson

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