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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Notes from Today's Farpont Cadet Voyager Meeting. The Power of Story. More Space Center Ghost Stories. Travel to the Edge of the Universe. The Imaginarium.

The Farpoint Voyager Cadets watching Mr. Daymont's Power Point Presentation on Space Craft: Real or Fiction at
Today's General Membership Meeting

Hello Space EdVentures Fans!
     A general meeting for our Farpoint Voyagers Cadets was held this morning at Renaissance Academy in Lehi. Over 40 people attended.  Thank you to all who were able to make it.   
     Mr. James Porter, Director of the CMSEC, introduced himself to the cadets and spoke about his history at the Space Center from his junior high days to the present.  He also outlined a few of his plans for the Center's future.  Finally, he introducing a new volunteer booking system to be rolled out on November 1.  
     Our four department heads reintroduced themselves for the benefit of those who were unable to attend last month's meeting.  They talked about their departments and accepted many cadet membership applications.  Everyone who turned in an application was given an interview. Cadets will find out whether or not they got into a department by email.  Those who didn't attend today's meeting may still submit applications by email, mail or in person at our next general membership meeting in November.
     Mr. Daymont gave a power point presentation explaining our new Cosmography Department.  Applications are available by email if you are interested.

Mr. Williamson 

The Cadets who attended today's meeting.  It was wall to wall people in my classroom.  

     Brent Anderson led a discussion with those waiting and those who've already had their department interviews.  "What is it that makes the Space Center great?" was the topic.  He recently read an article explaining the power of story in film.  The story (highlighted below in today's post) spotlighted the lessons Pixar taught Disney.  
     Could it be that easy?  Does a great story make all the difference in whether or not a Space Center mission is successful?  The cadets voiced their opinions.   

The waiting line for the cadets wanting to interview for  Farpoint's Medical Department.   

Ari C. did a good job interviewing to join McKay Hardy's Instrumentation and Controls Department.

The Power of Story as Pixar Taught Disney

A few quotes from the article

“Visual polish frequently doesn't matter if you are getting the story right.”

“The audience was so captivated that people barely noticed that some of the animation was unfinished.”

“Your connection with the audience is emotional. They can’t be told to feel a certain way. They have to discover it themselves.”

Brent wrote, "I think there’s a lot to be said for some of these details. Perhaps some takeaways we can begin to implement today."

     • Not worrying as much about the complexity of the controls, and focusing more on intended story dynamics and teamwork experiences
     • Cutting costs (while still using good materials) to make the experience feel excellent but without breaking the bank
     • Focusing on automation as an effort to improve the storytelling capabilities, and not just “because we can”

A Gorgeous Short Film About a Magician and his Apprentice and the Solar System.  

With a wasteland as their canvas, a Master and his Apprentice set about turning rubble into planets and moons, asteroids and comets, spinning them in orbit around a symbolic Sun. So begins Ambition, a short film made by Academy Award-nominated director Tomek Baginksi in collaboration with the European Space Agency.  Spend 7 minutes enjoying this masterful piece of cinematography.  

Two of Our Cadets Share their Space Centers 
"Ghost" Stories.      

     At the DSC when we were doing the zombie black ops when i was waiting for the campers to come i heard a taping at the front glass door when i looked there was no one there i turned back to look for the campers and heard it again. It was really terrifying.  

John M. 

Staff, interns, and volunteers alike sat together waiting for Bracken to arrive and officially start the overnight camp. We were all talking about some random thing, I don’t remember. What I do remember was a sudden chilling feeling from behind me, behind the curtains of the stage of the ballroom at Discovery Space Center. Now, don’t get me wrong--I believe in ghosts to the full extent, and there was something behind that curtain. However, I’ve had a lot of bad experiences behind those curtains...(Dark Cauldron, Child’s Play, Cloak and get the picture) and particularly did not want to get up and check whatever caused my sixth sense to flare up. I casually mentioned it to the group, and the discussions turned to the ghosts of the Atlantis, Endeavor, and the Boiler Room. Putting it aside, I decided to just enjoy the mission.
Fast forward about twenty minutes. All of us were waiting for bracken and Sara to launch the controls, a few of us chatting. I was sitting alone in the bottom tier of the Columbia, when I felt that presence again. I whipped around, but saw nothing but the registration number painted on the wall. Thinking the others on the ship would think I was crazy for talking to air, I decided once again to ignore it.
The mission went smoothly, and was a lot of fun, and I got to sleep without much trouble. However, the next day (I was pulling a 26 hour shift at the DSC) while waiting for a mission to start so I could go help, I was waiting in the Atlantis control room, cleaning up a few things, and listening to music, when my computer--the device from which the music was being played--shut down, dropping me into eery silence. I don’t know how many of you have been in the Atlantis control room alone before, but those who have can attest. It is creepy. I don’t know what it is about that room, but it’s chilling. This was intensified by the fact that the odd presence from the night before had returned. Being alone this time, I decided to try my luck at communication. “Hello?” I called tentatively. “I would appreciate it if you would leave me alone--I’ve been respectful to all of you spirits of the simulators, and would like some privacy.” I got the distinct impression that someone was laughing. And not in a kind way. Fairly terrified, I went downstairs, hoping, praying it would leave me alone, whatever it was.
Ah, but Fate would not have it so. I was asked to go fetch something from the dreaded Boiler Room, a paintbrush I think. Now, something I will admit freely--I am not even remotely in the area of being good at finding things. Even if I were given explicit instructions, I would still return to ask for more. So I wasn’t thrilled about being told to go look for something in a place as creepy as the Boiler Room.
As I carefully descended the steep stairs, I passed someone going up. Great. I would be completely alone down there. Luckily, I found the cabinet Bracken had referred me too, and retrieved the paintbrush. And there it was, stronger than before, that sense that someone was behind me, watching me. A thrill of fear jolted me into motion, and I sprinted up the stairs, jumping so high I would put any Olympic Hurdler to shame.
I’m not sure which ghost(s) decided I was a worthy target that day. Whichever ones or one it was left me alone after that, especially as other people came to help me clean the control room, and then I worked missions. But one thing is for certain--you won’t catch me alone at DSC anytime in the near future. Or Ever.

-Mackenzie S.

Travel in 2 Minutes to Edge of the Known Universe

The Imaginarium

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