More exciting news from the Admiral Starblayze (Gary Gardiner) and Dreamflight Adventures in Pennsylvania. First, a report on a group of students who participated in a mission deep into a volcano.
Second, a more detailed report on the three new simulators in development in the Pittsburgh area.
Dreamflight Adventures was started by Gary Gardiner, a long time Space Center supporter, fan, and camper. His goal is to take the Space EdVentures philosophy of experiential education through simulations and simulators, started back in 1983 at Central School in Pleasant Grove, Utah, to the nation and world. Does it sound intimidating? Don't you worry, Gary's got a handle on it.
One day I've got to get out there and see the great things happening in Pennsylvania.
Be sure to check out Dreamflight Adventures blog for further developments.
A Flight into the Volcanoby Admiral Starblayze
Last Thursday I had the pleasure of swinging by the IKS Titan to snap a few photos of a bold and bright crew before they climbed aboard their ship and dove into an activevolcano. Here they are, approximately sixteen minutes before suffering severe third degree burns several thousand meters below the ground.
On the left Admiral Rigorious, otherwise known as Mike Penn, is giving them a last-minute briefing about their mission and proper procedure for putting out grease fires amid lava flows. Mike Penn is an absolute pro at this. He's a master at describing the complex elements of the missions in simple, succinct terms. This is incredibly important, because right behind him is the entryway into the IKS Titan, a Chameleon-class vessel that is amazing enough to drive even the most mild mannered of students into a frenzy of excitement and delight. Mike has a window of approximately 6.3 seconds to explain the mission before everyone mentally stampedes into the ship and embarks on their epic adventure.
Admiral Starblayze at the helm. I wonder what all those buttons do.
After their briefing and a short time in training mode, the mission lasted about 45 minutes. The crew had many close calls and stared Death in the face on numerous occasions. But they didn't flinch—no, they held strong to the bitter end and emerged victoriously, saving the inhabitants of Krafft Island from a horrible fiery destruction. I'm pleased to report that only 20% of the crew was incinerated in the process.
I had the pleasure of sitting behind the green curtain and directing their flight. They were a great crew, and it was an honor to fly with them.
Earlier this month we announced that the Dream Flight Adventures network is expanding to include three exciting new locations this year. It's been a busy past few weeks as we've worked feverishly to get all our high-tech robotic ducks in a laser-precise row, but now the dust has settled enough to share a few more juicy details about the expansion.
Carnegie Museum of Natural History
The first simulator will be housed inside the world-famous Carnegie Museum of Natural History, which serves approximately 300,000 visitors per year. The simulator will be installed as a new renovation of the Earth Theater, a large wrap-around theater that will provide plenty of room for exciting hands-on learning. The museum will also be installed a new classroom to house "Mission Control" activities, and students will be able to go on "Away Missions" through the various halls and areas of the museum.
Penn Hills School District
Another simulator will be housed in the brand new—so new, in fact, that the building is still under construction—Penn Hills Elementary, which is a $28 million state-of-the-art school opening this fall. The simulator will be called the IKS Dreamcatcher and will take the districts 3rd and 4th graders on unbelievable educational adventures. Once the 3rd and 4th graders have had their fill of using their minds and imaginations to save the universe from the treacherous grasp evil, the simulator will be available to the rest of the district's 3,800 students as well as the broader community. The project just had a great article about it published in the Pittsburgh Tribune Review.
Baldwin-Whitehall School District
And last but not least, the third simulator will be installed in Harrison Middle School in the Baldwin-Whitehall School District. The IKS Highlander will be tightly integrated into the new school-wide science curriculum that teaches about the crucial role of water in our community, ecosystem, and personal lives. Harrison Middle School serves nearly one thousand 6th-8th graders, and when they aren't using the simulator it will be available to visits from the rest of the district's 4,100 students and the surrounding community. The IKS Highlander and the Baldwin-Whitehall District were recently featured in a nice article in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.
And to top off the barrage of great media updates, we were featured once again in THE Journal (Technological Horizons in Education).
It's going to be one exciting ride after another, so hang tight and subscribe to the blog for updates.
Excuse them while they make the ordinary, extraordinary
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