Visit to learn more about the Space Education Centers in Utah. Visit and for information on joining a simulator based school space and science club.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

First Lego League. Saturday's Nostalgia at the Space Center. Star Trek Victorian Style. Supernovae Drives Evolution? The Imaginarium.

Hello Troops,
It's time to relax and enjoy today's Troubadour.  There's a bit of everything in our little shop of oddities and memorabilia for all you Space Center fans out there.  
Cadet Journal

Overall Thoughts on being a Farpoint Cadet

Volunteering is absolutely fantabulous!  I love it!  I am in a minority.  There aren't too many girls, but it is still very dandy!  It is so great, and when I say it, I mean everything!  I love meeting all the new people and interacting with all of them.  There is just something magical aobut the blue light and well, anything and everything!  The opportunities I have gotten volunteering are simply amazing!  You get to have tons of adventures and make new friends. There are so many things we get to experience!  I love it so much.

Saturday at the Space Center

     Next year the Farpoint Voyagers will sponsor a First Lego League team.  We have the kit and robot and will be ready to go once I learn the ins and outs of running an FLL team.  I'm getting that education by volunteering with Mr. Engles and Mrs. Warnick at Shelley Elementary in American Fork.  I meet with the two Shelley teams every Wednesday after school in Mr. Engles room.  We spent the first part of the school year building the lego models and writing the research report on natural disasters.  Yesterday was our first competition, hosted by Shelley Elementary.  Eight teams from the Alpine District competed in the event.

An FLL tournament table.  The robot transverses the table performing preprogrammed
maneuvers for points.  The kids build everything from Legos and program the robot.

One of Shelley's team prepare to place their robot and rack up points.

The second Shelley team with Mr. Engles and their robot

It was a great first attempt for all of us. Both Mr. Engles and Mrs. Warnick were pleased with their teams' performance.
     "This will help us get ready for the big competition at Thanksgiving Point next month," Mr. Engles said.
     OK Farpoint Voyagers, who out there is interested if being a part of our own club's FLL team?  We start in January to get ready for next school year's competitions.

It's All Hands on Deck at the Space Center on Saturday
     It was a busy day at the Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center on Saturday.  All the ship's flew except the Galileo.  It needed some time off; either that, or the Galileo flight directors were off doing other things?  I ask, what could be more important than flight directing?  Come on people, let's get our priorities right :)
     I stopped by after the FLL competition to say hello to our Farpoint Voyager Volunteers working in the simulators.  And since I was already there, I broke down and said hello to all my friends at the CMSEC.  I'm so busy at Renaissance Academy with my own sixth grade class and the new Space Center Farpoint program we're building, that I rarely have time for nostalgia - except of course on a Saturday when I have a moment to stop by and visit my old haunting grounds of 23 years and see my old staff at work (and doing a wonderful job without me - a testament to their character and training).
     Megan Warner is doing a fantastic job as the new Space Center Director.  She has ownership of the job and does it well.  She handles every situation with professionalism, and just the right combination of TLC and political correctness.  The staff respect her, my volunteers like her and the school district is lucky to have her.  Her goal is to keep the Space Center alive and well, and continue its 23 year tradition  of excellence and innovation in experiential education.  I encourage you to book a program at the CMSEC.  Come by and meet Megan and the staff.  Come for a private mission, field trip or Super Saturday.  Its the same old place, minus an old washed out center director sent out to greener pastures :)

You'll be admitted into the Magellan's hidden control room if you know the
secret knock.  I knocked and look what happened.

Inside I found the Magellan's staff taking a quick break while their crew
ate their lunch in the Discovery Room.  Jacqueline is at the computer surrounded
by our awesome Farpoint Voyager Volunteers. Rich, Jake, Brandon and Scott
with the bowl of rice.  Play your cards right and you too might get a bowl of
plain rice when you volunteer at the Center.  The other volunteers were bad and
didn't get their bowl of plain rice.  Obviously, Scott is very pleased with himself.
I took a quick picture of the Phoenix 5 hour mission.  Two of the crew were Farpoint Voyagers

The Magellan in all her glory just waiting for your booking.

The Space Center keeps the lights on just for you.
Give them a ring and book your mission now.

 This picture must bring back good and bad memories to anyone who ever worked at the CMSEC.  Who hasn't had the privilege of setting up an away team in the gym with those dreaded nearly 30 year old wrestling mats?  Jake and Rich had the pleasure of doing so on Saturday.

      I snapped this picture as they struggled to get the mat to stand upright.  Chairs are used for extra support.  You have to have a degree in elementary away team science to be successful at setting these things up.  Jake and Rich, both members of the Farpoint Voyager Club, are working on their degree and struggle with the basics of balancing.  Until perfected, I'm going to suggest to Megan that all the kids going on the landing party wear helmets :)

Mr. W.

P.S.  Interested in joining our Farpoint Voyager Club and volunteering at the CMSEC and Discovery Space Center?  Visit for more details.

Corsets meet Star Trek in these Victorian Starfleet Uniform Dresses


Other Photos of the Original Crew of the Starship Enterprise in Victorian Period Photos

Space and Science News

Supernovae May Drive Evolution on Earth

Image credit: ESO

On Earth, we have an almost incomprehensible array of life. It comes in millions of different forms (the best estimate puts the figure at 8.7 million species, not counting bacteria). What’s more, these organisms are only an addition to the species that have long been extinct. What causes such diversity?

The answer seems rather simple — seemingly random genetic mutations drive evolution. These mutations are the raw materials of genetic variation; without them, evolution could not occur. But what actually drives these random mutations? Well, this is where things get a little complicated; however, new light has been shed on one possible factor – supernovae.   Read More at Quarks to Quasars

And Now
The Imaginarium
Your Ordinary exchanged for The Extraordinary

Weird, which is why it got included in today's Imaginarium

The Swedish Chef and Chef Ramsey

Creative way to tell you you're about to run out of staples

One heck of a way to shift gears

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