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

Thursday, February 28, 2013

A Lesson Learned and The Imaginarium

"What did you learn in your mission today?"  Mrs. Houston questioned her afternoon Space Center class.  They had just finished the mission Intolerance in the Magellan.

"I learned something," one boy answered.  "I learned that sometimes a team has to make sacrifices for a good thing."

"What do you mean?"  Mrs. Houston asked.

"Well, we wouldn't give the slave back to his owner, so we went to hide in the nebula because our ship was damaged and our other ship Montgomery went out to help us and the Pennou blew it up.  We had to sacrifice one of our ships to do what was right.  Sometimes you have to make a sacrifice to do a good thing."

All in a day's work, at one of the planet's happiest places; the Space Center.

The Imaginarium.
Nourish your imagination; find ways to make the ordinary, extraordinary.















Hogwarts.
One year and thousands of legos.













Don't waste opportunities.


Perhaps, they just have to upset enough of us.



I need a pair of these.




You've got to love Lay's!


A best seller, especially on Mondays.









There are times when creativity is NOT required.



Obviously not.









I wish I would have learned this when I was younger.



His life over the years in pictures.



Strange, isn't it.





Toothbrush.







There is always room for manners


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

My 30 Years at Central School. A Day on the Magellan Bridge. A Moving Video. The Imaginarium

Hello Troops,
The Space Center is a magical place.  Even in its current trimmed down incarnation, it does exactly what I  designed it to do - inspire imagination and wonder in the hearts and minds of children.  I saw that again today on the bridge of the USS Magellan.

For a few hours every day, I soar through the cosmos with a class of kids on a voyage of discovery.  I see their imaginations ignite as our make believe space ship takes us from the here and now into a future of unlimited possibilities.  It's amazing what we, as a Space Center community, have done.

The Pennou slave owner was angry.  The Northridge Elementary Admiral and Ambassador refused to surrender the escaped slave.  Even under the threat of death, this crew of sixth graders stuck to their beliefs.
"Surrender the slave or face the consequence!" the Pennou threatened, his voice - dark and deep.
"Never!" the Admiral shouted back.  He looked at me white faced.  His expression asked me if I agreed with his decision.   I shrugged my shoulders. Panic flooded across his face.   The lights went from white to red.  The alarms sounded.  The Pennou ship was firing.

"Fire Back!" the Admiral ordered.  I rushed from one side of the bridge to the other keeping the crew together and focused.  The ship took a direct hit by the circular plasma weapon.

The Admiral stood near the engineer.  Another plasma weapon appeared on the tactical screen. "Back Up!  Back Up!" he shouted across the bridge to his first officer manning the thrusters.

In a perfect Scottish accent, the young eleven year old boy shouted back.  "I'm giving you all she's got Captain!"  I stopped dead in my tracks and laughed.  It was a young Mr. Scott right there on my bridge.  

Friends, its magic.  The Space Center is just plain magic.  I still love my job after all these years.  The kids never cease to amaze me.

Mr. W  

30 Years at Central School.  My Albums

This is my 30th year of teaching and my 30th year at Central School.  I've decided to celebrate this milestone in my life by posted the pictures I've taken of my students over the years.  This album is open for all to see.  New pictures will be added every week.  Right now I'm posting pictures from school year 1983-84.  Enjoy, and thanks for the memories.    Click here.


An Award Winning Short Video on the Effects of Bullying


To This Day Project is a project based on a spoken word poem written by Shane Koyczan called “To This Day”, to further explore the profound and lasting impact that bullying can have on an individual.
Schools and families are in desperate need of proper tools to confront this problem. We can give them a starting point… A message that will have a far reaching and long lasting effect in confronting bullying.
Animators and motion artists brought their unique styles to 20 second segments that will thread into one fluid voice.
This collaborative volunteer effort will demonstrate what a community of caring individuals are capable of when they come together.




The Imaginarium.
Always look for ways to make the ordinary, extraordinary










 











Monday, February 25, 2013

Today Starts the Work Week. A Brilliant Observation, Wouldn't You Say?


Hello Troops, 

I'm grateful for my Battlestar (my 2000 Lincoln), so I happily and most enthusiastically thank you engineers for your contributions to the modern world we live in today.  And to all you younglings considering a future in engineering, may I heartily urge you to continue that line of thinking.  I've got a long wish list of cool gadgets I've seen in multiple science fiction movies and TV shows I want in my hands now, not thirty years from now when I'll be confined to the Nearly There Home for the Elderly and Confused.  By then, just remembering how to flush a toilet will be a praiseworthy accomplishment worthy of an extra 20 minutes of TV before my 6:30 P.M. bed time.   So, become the engineers this country needs, and give me the toys I want - nay -  give me the the toys I demand.

You have your marching orders.  Make it happen.

Today the Space Center hosted a class from Windsor Elementary.  They did a good job working through the Intolerance mission.  Of course, we can't start a week without something going wrong.  One of the primary computers on the bridge wouldn't start.  It is most likely dead.  Luckily we have a few spare Mac Mini's from the Odyssey we can drop in. 

Questions from the Comments Section of the Blog:

akio9999 wrote:

Mr. Williamson,
I have one question: how do you think the state of the space center now compares to the state of the space center at before we shut down? Do you think we've gained something valuable, or do you think the closing was just as tragic as we initially thought? 

Thank you for your question.  The current state of the Space Center is different than what it was before we closed for renovation and reorganization last October. 

"Is it as tragic as we initially thought?"  Not necessarily; looking on the bright side - the Space Center is open.  We have three simulators fully repaired and qualified to house students.  The District is committed to continue the Space Center at a new facility sometime in the future.  The Space EdVentures Foundation is working to restore the Space Center's former programs; the Programming Guild, the private missions and camps, and the volunteer program.  If we are successful in this endeavor, then there will be cause to celebrate.  Let's stay positive and soldier on.

Mr. Williamson


The Imaginarium      
Always look for ways to make the ordinary, extraordinary.


A suggestion box at a music school



An author's creative dedication



Something different to do with the snow.





A poor man's home theater.



This student has it right.



Creativity: A



Only in Australia 


The grumpy old man on the corner in 60 years.






A shoe store in South Africa







There must be some very interesting discussions at this family's dinner table