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Sunday, December 4, 2016

The USS Magellan's New Sickbay Pod. Megan Warner Returns! Washington DC's Mobile Simulator Selected as a Model Program by the US Dept. of Education. Sam's Space Station. Theater Imaginarium.

Space Center Directors 1 and 2 Catch Up on Old Times

Megan Warner, Space Center Director #2, Returns from the California. Her Time in that Far Away Land is Over
     Breaking News!  You read it on The Troubadour first.
     Former Space Center Director (#2) Megan Warner has moved back to Utah from her rejuvenation sabbatical to California. I met up with Megan at the Space Center on Saturday while getting the scoop on a new addition to the Magellan's bridge. Megan is doing well and will be living in Eagle Mountain. She's looking for meaningful employment so if you know of a good job needing a former Space Center director and all around dedicated, hard working, creative, highly organized, intelligent person, let her know ( 

Wow, three Space Center directors together??  Well no. Truth be told, Space Center volunteer Audrey thought it would be fun to get a picture of Megan and I and add Mr. Porter using the magic of Photoshop.  I really like this picture due to the fact that it's near impossible to get a decent picture of me and even more impossible to get a good picture of Mr. Porter. The elusive Mr. Porter likes to hide from cameras; and when trapped with no escape, gives little effort into a passable smile :)   

The Magellan's New Bridge Sickbay

      Mr. James Porter is a very busy man. He administers the Space Center, which is more than a full time job, and is working to complete his master's degree. I tried doing something similar back in 1989 when my grants started coming in to build the Space Center. I quickly discovered that building the Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center while working on a master's degree while continuing to teach sixth grade was too much for a mere mortal. Something had to give.
     To honor my commitments, I choose to put my nearly completed master degree on hold. Due to the demands of the new Space Center, and the fact that graduate credit disappears after a set number of years, the hold became permanent. That decision was unfortunate for me financially because of the years of master's degree pay I never earned. On the other hand, the decision was fortunate for the hundreds of thousands of school children who've attended the Space Center over the years.  
     There are no regrets. Giving 100% to the creation and maintenance of the Space Center was the right decision; look at how the concept has grown and expanded over the years.
     If you think about it, Mr. Porter and staff could just sit back and let the place continue as is, on auto-pilot, until the new Central School and Space Center are built in a couple years. This would give him a more normal working schedule. But this is not the Space Center way.  The Space Center constantly seeks to improve, try new ideas, search for new ways to use the simulators to enrich learning through experiential missions. Flying on auto-pilot is unacceptable. That philosophy is demonstrated with the addition of the new Magellan Sickbay.

     I heard rumors of this new sickbay and stopped by the Space Center on Saturday to see it for myself.  There it was, right in the corner, the new sickbay pod marked appropriately with the red cross sign I had made years ago for my "Mercy Strike" mission.  
     The sickbay pod will add another level of fun and realism to a Magellan mission. Now there is a place to put 'injured' crewmen. From one of the two bunks, the injured can do their moaning and groaning while still keeping abreast of story developments.  Having crew members in the pod will stress the crew, thus making the mission more intense and real. Somebody will have to do their work and monitor their stations (nirvana for a demented flight director who takes dark joy is seeing a crew suffer when stretched so thin).  
     Fantastic improvement Mr. Porter and staff. Keep up the great work.  

Mr. W.       

Explore! Mission Mobile Flying to new Heights
     It’s been awhile since we’ve posted news on our blog, but today we’re delighted to share a bit of news from the IKS Horizon… also known as the Mission Mobile at Explore! Children’s Museum in Washington DC.  The IKS Horizon was recently selected as a model program by the US Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology!   
     When Richard Culatta, former director of the Office of Educational Technology, hosted various Latin American directors of educational technology, the Explore! Children’s Museum team brought the Mission Mobile to them and they participated in a mission. They all loved the experience, and Richard Culatta later shared the Mission Mobile as an example of innovative practice in one of his presentations.  Congrats to everyone at Explore! for a job well done!
     It’s a bit late for Giving Tuesday, but the Mission Mobile is running a donation campaign to bring their simulator adventures to more students than ever before—and to expand the museum’s other programming as well.  If you’d like to support their growth, please consider donating on their website.

The Tsar Peter the Great Station (untextured)

The Tsar Peter the Great Station Taking Shape for New Voyager Mission

     Sam G. is a member of the Farpoint Voyager Club who has taken upon himself to learn Blender, with an end goal of making outstanding tactical cards for simulator missions.  Like all other simulator tactical artists learning their trade, I find it best to give the apprentice a specific project to hone his skills. 
     Sam was asked to create a space station for an upcoming mission to premier on the new USS Voyager simulator at Renaissance Academy.  The mission requires a Russian space station parked near a planetary nebula far, far away. Sam sent an update that I'd like to share with you.  He's doing a fine job.  
     Thanks Sam!

The station is taking shape, now with texture

The Original USS Voyager Highlighted in a Book on Gifted Education

     Barbara Lewis and Jim Delisle wrote a book on gifted education and referenced the Space Center?  The book was published in 2003. Barbara Lewis, was the gifted coordinator for the Park City School District and a frequent visitor to the Space Center with students in tow. Mr. Porter, CMSEC Director, happened to find it while researching information for his master's paper.

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Theater Imaginarium
The best gifs of the week, assiduously edited for gentler audiences, minors, and the terminally offended

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