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.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Weekend at the Space Centers. Nicole VandenBos Returns. Fortuna Flees. This Week in Science and Technology. The Imaginarium. Time to Relax.....

Hello Space Center Fans!
     It was another busy weekend at the Space Centers.  The DSC ran a private overnight camp for Lehi High School's student body officers - topped off by four, 4 hour missions on Saturday.  The CMSEC had a full slate of Saturday private missions.  
     
Welcome New Farpoint Cadets!

      I interviewed two new Farpoint Cadets this weekend.  Both recently completed their two observations are ready to get to work.  


     Mitch is a 7th grader at Lehi Junior High.  Friday afternoon was his first mission as a fully licensed volunteer.  Mitch will be joining Farpoint's computer programming department in addition to volunteering at the Space Centers.  


     This is Brandon.  Brandon is in the A.L.L. unit at Highland Elementary.  He starts 5th grade in August.  Brandon is a big fan of the DSC's overnight camps.  I've seen him multiple times when I chaperone.  He likes the behind the scenes stuff.  "I'd rather see something from behind the scenes than in the audience," he told me during his interview.  
     Welcome Mitch and Brandon to Farpoint!

Saturday at the Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center


     I found Abram in the Magellan control room, head buried in his supervisor's manual.  He is determined to ace his Magellan exams next week so he can challenge Connor for El Supremo de Magellan.  "Good luck," I said.  
     "Luck ain't got nothin to do with it. Connor is going down, and it ain't gonna be pretty," Abram sneered.  "This simulator ain't big enough for the both of us.  With Jacque gone, this is my chance."    


     Later I found Farpoint Cadet Jace helping Abram with a few of the bigger words in the Magellan Primer.  "Isolinear Chips," Jace said slowly while enunciating the syllables.  
     "Got it, what's this one?" Abram pointed to something at the bottom of the next page.
     Jace looked, then nodded. "Dilithium crystals."  Abram scratched his head.

    

     The Magellan welcomes the returning Nicole VanDenBos for the summer season.  Nicole was the Magellan El Supremo before the dark times and returns hoping to reclaim her position. I didn't have the heart to tell her she'd be up against Abram.  
     Nicole is wrapping up her elementary education internship in Heber this month.  She is looking for a permanent teaching position in the Alpine School District.  Connor is happy to see her back, having recently survived a bout of depression at the retiring of Jacque Lystrup.
Andrew is in the background a bit put off.  He wanted to be the first to welcome Nicole back but Connor beat him to it.

      

     I introduced Farpoint Cadet Jake to Nicole.  Jake is training to become the Magellan's El Supremo in the far future and sees a close friendship with Nicole as politically advantageous to his cause.  
     "We already know each other from before the dark times," Nicole said as she shook his hand.  "Jake was one of my top volunteers."  
     "Hello, I'm Jake," Jake squeaked out, his voice shook with emotion at being close to such a legend.  
     Nicole seemed perturbed.  "Jake, we worked together for a couple years, remember?  I've only been gone nine months."  
     "Hello, I'm Jake," Jake resqueeked.  
     "This is going to be a long afternoon," Nicole mumbled.  "Go back to your phone.  I'll tell you when we need you." 

 
      
CMSEC Readies to Roll Out New Magellan Simulator Controls

     I found Dallin camped out in Central's conference room.  Before him stretched a table covered in MacBook Pros.  Each MacBook displayed a different Magellan station.  Dallin was ready for another stress test of the controls.    


     A few of our better cadets, command by Abram, helped with the stress test.  They sat around the table, pushing buttons over and over again, hoping to cause a catastrophic failure of monumental proportions.  I'm happy to report, there was no failure.  The controls behaved as expected, with minor hiccups easily remedied by Dallin and his mentor, Matt Long.    


     Farpoint Cadet Scott was the most excited over the new controls.  He kept bouncing up and down in his seat, while clapping his hands every time the controls spoke or made a sound.  Jace was mildly annoyed, but let it pass due to the significance of the occasion.  



     Meanwhile, in the Phoenix control room, Jordon nervously reviewed the Phoenix Simulator's operating manual.  He is up for promotion - Phoenix flight director - and knew Miranda was no easy pushover.  To get a Miranda pass, you must be practically perfect in most ways (always leaving room for improvement of course).  Rumor is that you'll never get a Miranda pass if you come even close to being as good as she is.  Phoenix trainees know a few mistakes are necessary, even if you have to orchestrate them yourself.      


     Before leaving, I poked my head in the Odyssey's control room to say hello to Christine.  She was in mid flight.  She and her padawan were having a great time with a young group of campers.

This Week in Science and Technology


Science Summary of The Week
From Sci-Tech

➤ Stem Cell Cartilage: http://is.gd/ZKnzeR
➤ Depression Blood Test: http://is.gd/5CG9my
➤ New Super-Heavy Element: http://is.gd/yPKKVs
➤ Thin air-based Jet Fuel: http://is.gd/HL1QV2
➤ DNA GPS: http://is.gd/Yu0m5q
➤ Strategic Thinking: http://is.gd/INLqyw
➤ Building the Pyramids: http://is.gd/5UCYHt
➤ Antibiotic Resistance: http://is.gd/2YQCSV
➤ Mars Colonization: http://is.gd/29V9d0
➤ This Week in Technology: http://is.gd/dBRPkZ




Technology Summary of The Week
From Sci-Tech

➤ Bioengineered circuits: http://is.gd/MUma3m
➤ Touch-sensitive poster: http://is.gd/AUZmmi
➤ Graphene-like material: http://is.gd/YcXzOZ
➤ 3D Nano-printer: http://is.gd/qKvnJA
➤ Thin film battery: http://is.gd/1E5mjF
➤ New Mars suite: http://is.gd/zxuuM0
➤ Nerve repair: http://is.gd/f6zo9A
➤ Job automation: http://is.gd/Amw3Re
➤ Muscle implant: http://is.gd/SynC3e

The Imaginarium
The Fountain of Imagination.


I rarely go to McDonald's, but when I do I always order the Happy Meal.  The portions are perfect for a quick lunch.  And yes, I get that look, especially when I tell them I want a toyless Happy Meal.   








The Double Helix of life





And from the Imaginarium's Shop of Unknown Pleasures..











And how about another reason to take the extra time to master math.....

Don't know exactly how to describe this, but I'll have a go....
The picture below is the alter at the Cathedral of Gaming.  Services held daily after school and all weekend long.



The world's most accurate watch


Memorize this so you can use it then next time your parents get all over you for doing something ridiculously stupid.

Once again, I give this sign respect for creativity and imagination.
I'd buy my gas here to encourage this kind of thinking (up to a point, as long as its price was within two cents of its local competitors and its fountain drink section had pebble ice and a dizzying assortment of flavors).

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