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Saturday, October 11, 2014

What Will You Do this Fall Vacation? Discovery Space Center's Haunted House. News from the CMSEC. Attend a CMSEC Fall Break Camp. The Imaginarium.

Hello Space EdVenture Fans!
     Fall vacation starts this Thursday.  Some of you will be heading out of town for destinations unknown while others face the same fate as yours truly.  I'm stuck in town taking care of business.  
     I've got to get a haircut (been putting it off for a month now).  I hate haircuts.  It's a social issue.  I'm trapped in a chair and wrangled into a forced conversation requiring a false interest in a person holding sharp scissors inches from my throat.  I start every haircut with general questions to determine the mental stability of my stylist.  It's important considering the point made in the previous sentence.  Once I build a friendly rapport and feel confident I'll live to see another sunrise, I work my way through a series of questions to keep her talking so I won't have to.  "So, tell me about beauty school," followed by, "Tell me about your most interesting haircut."  I have the list memorized. 
     Occasionally I'm given a stylist who has previously cut my hair. Those haircuts are the most awkward. Thats when I take a deep breath and move into more serious topics like birth, death and the meaning of life.  
     I got a recall notice for my new Ford Taurus.  Evidently it could have a gas leak which could result in drippage, which could result in an unexpected explosion which WOULD be very bad indeed.  A trip to my neighborhood Ford dealer is another thing on my Fall Vacation TO DO list.  I'm also suppose to have the dealer check the light over my license plate.  Apparently road salt can short them out due to hairline cracks in the seal.  
     Fall Vacation is also the time of year I get my car safety inspected.  They always find something wrong - Fortuna sees to that; so I'm setting aside half a day to deal with that.  
     My car has something in common with the people of the middle ages.  During the middle ages people usually bathed once or twice a year.  Just like the peasants of the Dark Ages, my car gets washed twice a year - once during Fall Vacation and once during Spring Vacation whether it needs it or not.  
     So please enjoy your vacation.  In fact think of poor Mr. Williamson and enjoy it a little bit more.  

Best Wishes,
Mr. W. 


Have you ever wanted to go to a space center Haunted House? Now is your chance! $5 per person for a haunted house experience from October 24th-November 1st! If you book a private mission and bring your receipt you will receive 4 free tickets to the haunted house! Or just come and experience the haunted DSC.  Go to the DSC's Facebook page and Like, Share, or Tag your friends to be entered to win free haunted house tickets! 

 A Post From James Porter, Director of the CMSEC

      As I took over the position of Director for the Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center there was much to relearn and lots of additional responsibilities to keep things fully operational.  Work at the Space Center never stops as we constantly are trying to develop new and exciting materials for our patrons.  All of the CMSEC staff have been marvelous in dealing with the many changes I have been trying to implement as we move into new phases of development.  So a public thank you to all of the staff and volunteers who have stuck it out through this transition.

     We are nearing the busier time of the year when schools are coming in and out of our doors more frequently for our field trip program.  Preparing for this time has been quite stressful and I wanted to highlight a couple of people who have made things so much easier for me during this time.  Jon and Marissa have made it so my receding hairline hasn't budged as much as it would have if I were tackling things on my own.  Not all of us our blessed with thick dark matts of hair like Mr. Williamson.

     Jon has been an amazing crutch for me to lean on as I learn so many new things.  His knowledge of the space center and all that we do is impressive.  Whether it be skills with tactical stacks, video, programming work arounds, or whatever you can imagine Jon seems to know how to handle it.  He has made it possible for me to go home and spend time with my family knowing that the center is in good hands.  On many occasions I have looked to Jon to tackle some tremendous tasks in a pinch and he has pulled through for us.  I really wouldn't have been able to get so far without his help.

     Marissa recently was welcomed onto our staff at the beginning of the school year.  She worked closely with Nicole over the summer in the Magellan to learn its intricacies and after looking at her record I found that she was one of our most decorated volunteers.  Marissa has been helping us to get the Magellan into prime condition as we made the swap over to some new controls.  With new controls there are dozens and dozens of damage reports, long range messages, mission stacks, video scripts, and everything else associated with the ship that has to be updated.  She has been forging ahead to not just swap items over to the new system, but to improve them so that our patrons get an even better experience.

     As I have gloomily sat in my office plugging away at various tasks it has been a joy to have Marissa knock on my door and brighten my day with a smile.  She comes eager to work on projects and help the space center to become an even more amazing place.  Every other day she tends to her schooling, as she should, and I have to trudge on in my lonely room awaiting the next day.  It has also been nice to have someone with her creative skills to bounce ideas off of and test out my new tinkering.

Pictured: Field Trip Crew Positions Program - Allows teachers to put their students in the 
correct positions without duplicating entries.

So thank you Jon, Marissa, and all of the staff and volunteers who have helped us in offering such a wonderful program.  As a quick note out CMSEC volunteers we have created a new page on our website just for your information.  On there we will be posting details about upcoming events, but mainly providing you with details that will help in your experience in our program.  

Also, don't forget to sign up for one of our fall break camps.  If you visit our website you can enter to win a free day camp.  Might I also add that the Discovery Space Center is holding a cool looking haunted house event that looks to be quite a thriller.

James Porter,
Director, CMSEC

The Imaginarium

 Famous Landmarks, close in and far away

 Celebration of Fall

Something to Consider

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