Contact Victor Williamson with your questions about simulator based experiential education programs for your school.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

From the YahooGroup, Photos from The Last Mission of the Magellan. Plus, The Space Center Journal from May 19, 2007. Taylor Thomas, Landon Hemsley, Mr. Daymont, Casey Voeks, and Megan Warner Mentioned. Theater Imaginarium.

Hello Troops,
Just as promised, I'm posting another article from the Space Center's first online database and journal - the SpaceEdVentures YahooGroup.  This was the Space Center Journal - the predecessor of The Troubadour.  I tried to type one up every week, but that didn't last long.  Enjoy another stroll down memory lane, and for those of you younglings, reading these historical posts introduces you to the dedicated people who worked with me to make the Space Center what it is today.  Each name you read is legend and made a significant contribution to our success.

With the article I'm including a few historical photos. Below are the last pictures taken of the original Magellan before the redesign and construction of the Magellan you know today. These pictures were taken on the evening of November 26, 2005.  

This was the final private mission staff. The Magellan closed that night so construction of the new Magellan could start on November 27th.  I don't know everyone's names, but this is what I know.
Left to right standing top:  ?,   Megan Warner, Sam Brady,  ?  ,  BJ Warner.
Front row:  Warren Nuila, Metta Smith, Steven Bristow, and Josh Babb.  
Josh was the Flight Director, Metta was second chair. The rest wanted to be there for the final goodbye to a wonderful set.    

Thank you,
Mr. Williamson

Metta working the last Magellan mission in Second Chair. The Second Chair in those days was to the Flight Director's left.

The first Magellan. Notice the IMacs were all the same color - raspberry.  That uniform color took a day's work. The original Magellan computers arrived at Central School in different colors. We had raspberry, lime, tangerine, and blueberry.  What a disaster for the bridge.  What would people think walking into the Magellan and seeing a smorgasbord of computer colors?  Mr. Adams, Central's principal, and I loaded up the lime, tangerine, and blueberry computers into the back of his pickup and drove to most of the district's elementary schools asking if we could swap our computers for their raspberry computers. The principals were very obliging.  We had our raspberry bridge.

Of course, what we didn't know was that the computers were assigned to schools and their serial numbers recorded on the district's database. Dan Adams and I really messed up - causing the good folks at technology several hours of re entering serial numbers.  We asked for forgiveness but were not willing to take the computers back!

Josh Babb in the Magellan's Flight Director position.  Notice in those days the flight directors sat facing second chair.

Steven Bristow and Warren Nuila folding the Magellan's uniforms at the end of the last mission.  Yes, those are the same Magellan uniforms used today.

The last picture.  What a team. What great memories.  Megan's face sums it up.....
Does anyone know who the two young volunteers were?

Mr. Williamson

Space Center Journal May 19, 2007
This week:
Honor’s List: Taylor T. and Landon Hemsley!
Mr. Daymont’s Good News!
New Set Directors Warmly Welcomed by Parade! 200,000. A Milestone Reached with Simulated Celebrations!
Honor’s List
  • Taylor T. I’d like to thank Taylor T. for an outstanding performance Friday and Saturday. Taylor T works as a Flight Director in the Galileo. I’ve noticed that Taylor’s attitude is always spot on when he comes to the Center. He is clean, his clothes are clean, and he always has his OWN Space Center shirt (and not borrowing one from the new shirt supply like others I’ve noticed). Taylor’s positive attitude toward his crews is readily noticed. He radiates the same enthusiasm we see from Emily when she works with her crews. He greets them at the door with a smile. He doesn’t hide out until the recorded flight time. If his mission arrives early, and he is ready, they start. I appreciate that in a Flight Director. Taylor was also quick to notify me of a potential staff problem. He did this not to get anyone in trouble, but to make sure that future mission quality is never compromised. Thanks Taylor - I’ve noticed and I appreciate all you do for the Space Center.
  • What can we say about Landon? How about "Landon is Awesome"?  Awesome is a word Landon loves to use over and over and over and over and over again :) Landon was scheduled to work Saturday evening but came in for the 2:30 P.M. mission to learn the Phoenix and to brush up on his FD skills. Remember, Landon will be leaving the Center in September to go to school in Logan and he's still looking to improve. Landon has also agreed to do some badly needed painting in the Odyssey and Voyager before the summer is out. As always - Thanks Landon.

Mr. Daymont’s Good News

A week ago Friday, just as I finished by engaging and highly entertaining “Welcome to the Overnight Camp,” speech so warmly received by hundreds of children monthly, Mr Daymont walked up to me with his hand outstretched. This gesture, universal worldwide, is intended to signal to the other person that a handshake is wanted. I don’t recall the last time I shook Mr. Daymont’s hand except in my official capacity as Center Director to congratulate him on a job well done for an overnight camp, but that handshake comes after the camp ends not at its start.

I was puzzled by the gesture, wondering what event would cause this behavior. The quickest way to find out was to shake hands and listen for the reason.  “I got the job,” he said. Congratulating someone on getting a great job was handshake worthy.  Mr. Daymont recently applied to work for Pearson, one of America’s largest education companies, in their Power School Division. It was time to celebrate Mr. Daymont's transitioning from a classroom into the real world of higher paychecks and reasonable hours. The whole series of events that led to the job are one of those “I can’t believe” stories. Here is the short version.
  1. Mr. Alldredge comes to visit me. He used to teach at Highland Elementary. He
    also worked at the Space Center for a couple years getting the Magellan started.
    He left teaching to work for Apple and Powerschool.
  2. Chris (Mr. Alldredge) stopped by to arrange a flight for his professional curriculum
    team. They work out of their homes, spread across the country. It would be the first time they all got together for a workshop. He wanted to kick off the event by bringing them to the Center for a Team Building mission.
  3. Chris and I started talking, then relived ‘old time’ as old timers always do when they get together. The conversation drifted to his work for Powerschool. I learned they had been purchased by Pearson. The company was doing very very well.
  4. Chris told me about his team, what they do, and that they were taking applications for another employee. From that the conversation drifted on to other things.
  5. For some reason, Mr. Daymont, on his way home, stopped by to say goodbye and check to see if there were any pressing Space Center things that needed to be done. He say Chris and they started talking. During their conversation I remembered what Chris had said about hiring. I jumped right in and told Mark. Chris went over the qualifications - all easy peasy for our Mr. Daymont.
  6. Chris left and I encouraged Mark to give it a try. He's a good writer. Curriculum wouldn’t be too difficult. 
Mr. Daymont was hired. He signed his employment papers last Friday. He starts at Pearson on June 4th. He gets to set his own hours but he must work 8 hours a day. He gets to work from home. His boss is Chris. His salary is double what he made as a teacher. He gets full benefits. 

Because of his new responsibilities, Mr. Daymont has given up the Set Directorship of the Magellan. He will continue to work as Asst. Director of the Space Center and run every other Magellan overnight mission, along with a few private flights. So, Mr. Daymont leaves teaching but stays with us at the Space Center. A win, win for everyone involved. Congratulations Mr. Daymont from all of us at the Space Center!

New Set Directors!

Crowds of well wishers filled the city streets of Pleasant Grove last week to greet the Space Center’s two new Set Directors. Casey Voeks and Megan Warner both rode in the Space Center’s 23rd Century Float in the Jubilant Parade of Honorment. The float was an exact replica of the original Voyager’s bridge complete with old Mac Pluses and Mr. Williamson’s original controls. One of the Mac Pluses even smoked on cue every 5 minutes - just like the original one did 15 years ago! The crowd was heard to gasp every time smoke rose from the Right Wing computer. Some little children were seen to grab for a parent’s leg fearing an explosion. Our volunteer staff, following the float with fire extinguishers, were on hand to calm the little one’s fears and offer them M and M’s.

Casey and Megan were warmly welcomed at City Hall and presented the Key to the City. Multiple photographs were taken by the city’s distinguished newspaper “The News of Pleasant Grove City”. News of their promotions would be given the honored front page headline - keeping company with other memorable news highlights from last week, like the new traffic light at 300 East and the introduction of Pumpkin Shakes at the Purple Turtle.

Casey spoke of his appreciation to Mr. Williamson for giving him the opportunity to take the Magellan to new heights. Megan also spoke of her gratitude to Mr. Williamson for his faith in her abilities to set direct a simulator of her own. She then spoke of how the Phoenix would soar to even greater heights. A scuffle followed Megan’s remarks as Casey reached to take the microphone to tell those gathered that the Magellan was “up to any challenge the phoenix could deliver!” Just when the argument was getting good with the possibility of questionable language, the police were called in and the rest of day’s events canceled. A very unfortunate ending to what promised to be a supreme day of celebration.

200,000 Campers. A Milestone Reached!

Two weeks ago the Space Center reached a milestone in attendance. One of the
4th graders from Vineyard elementary school was the Center’s 200,000th visitor since the Center opened its doors on November 8, 2000. Mr. Williamson had planned to have balloons and a gift on hand for the lucky camper but forgot, which is becoming more and more the norm lately. So.......... Happy 200,000th visitor. Imagine thousands and thousands of balloons falling around you complete with streamers and the sound of a band playing music worthy of such a celebration.

There....... wasn’t that awesome. What a celebration, and it didn’t cost the Center a penny. We need to have more of those. 

Mr. Williamson

Theater Imaginarium
Troops, I messed up on the Theater this week. A couple clips didn't load correctly and I didn't want to take the time to correct the mistake. Somethings just aren't worth it. So, there is one minute of video missing from 20:40 to 21:40 so just fast forward through to get to the other great stuff starting at 21:40.  Thanks

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Forty Campers Enjoy an Overnight Camp at Discovery Space Center. Some Traditions Never Die! The Imaginarium.

     Discovery Space Center at Canyon Grove Academy was busy last night.  Forty campers were on the schedule for the Overnight Camp program.  "Forty campers sets a record for us here at Canyon Grove," said DSC's Kendrick Gines.  We use to have camps with forty kids when were were at Stone Gate, but not here. So this is pretty awesome."
     The DSC's two simulators, Everest and Pathfinder, are not equipped for 40 campers so InfiniD's Titan mobile simulator was called into service.  I hadn't seen the Titan in action for quite some time so I stopped by the DSC on my way home from my Saturday morning hike up and down the Timp Cave trail (twice I might add.  Gasping is allowed now).        

I heard the unmistakable sounds of kids having a great time the moment I stepped out of the car.  For those of you unfamiliar with space center missions you'd expect to hear a few screams mixed with lots of voices passing information and opinions at a rapid fire pace.  Phasers blasts and torpedo explosions are common fare.  Those with even the most rudimentary imagination will experience an overwhelming urge to drop whatever they're doing to join in the fun. 

Standing outside the Titan's entrance was a DSC intern poised and ready to play the role of galactic bad guy. He was dressed for the part and armed with an ACME photon blaster with night vision and multipac.  Curiously is the word I'll use to describe how he looked at me when I walked up the ramp and asked permission to peak in.  Obviously he didn't know WHO I was so a brief explanation was given.

Titan Mission Control is as small as it needs to be to give maximum room to the crew.  Claire was the flight director for the overnight camp. "This ship needs someone small like me to flight direct.  No one else can squeeze into the compartment," she joked.  I suggested a notice be hung by the control room door similar to those found on the thrill rides at amusement parks. The notice would say that anyone wanting to fly the Titan should be no taller than 4 feet, with a waist size indicating multiple missed meals.   

Peeking into the Titan from the back entrance

The five forward stations. The captain sits in the center, right in front of the air conditioner - of course.

The ship as seen from the front

 The Titan's overnight crew found the sun extra bright after having spent over seven hours in the blackness of space.  Can you believe the Titan holds a crew of nine!  Great things come in small packages.  

Entering the school, I found Pathfinder Flight Director Emma having a good time with her rambunctious crew. She was reviewing their points and about to issue their final score when I walked in to take the picture. Emma flew a mission called "Premonition". They did well and left the ship very happy campers indeed.  

The overnight camp crew of the Starship Everest.  They are armed with the latest in space weaponry - the Photon Blaster 3000 Delux.  No space pirate stands a chance against the 3000 model blaster.  I wanted a picture of them in uniform but stepped into the ship too late.  It was 10:00 A.M. and time for them to return to reality

 This is Mason. He directed the Everest for the overnight camp.  Oblivion was the mission, written by himself and a long time Space Center volunteer and DSC regular - Bronson Todd.  

Some Traditions Never Die 

The DSC overnight camp ended just like we use to end camps at the CMSEC.  The campers were given a camp survey. The bottom of the survey had a section where the camper could reward the staff and volunteers he thought did an outstanding job and deserved a tip taken from his camp tuition.  

The staff and interns lined up against the cafeteria wall. Each took a turn saying his or her name and what they did on the camp.  Everyone claps once after each introduction. 

OK Space Center old timers, look at the two pictures below.  Don't they bring back memories of campers gathering their sleeping bags, pillows, and backpacks then searching for a parent to take on a tour of the ships?  

What an opportunity these kids have to get to do an overnight camp at a space center!  
And let me add this....
Discovery Space Center has an AWESOME staff directed by capable, caring, and talented leaders.  The staff and interns are welcoming, attentive to the campers, friendly in every situation, and expertly trained in handling the equipment and campers.  Everyone I talk to about the DSC tells me how impressed they are with the staff.  Good Job to the staff and interns of DSC! 

 This is the Austin's neck.  He played a robotic AI on the Everest. I'm curious about the bar code on his neck. I wonder what it would ring up at the grocery store if scanned. Perhaps 

I'm just guessing of course :)

Have a Great Weekend,

Victor Williamson

The Imaginarium

Things Parents Have Said to Teachers