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

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The Starship Valiant Donated to Telos Discovery Space Center. The Valiant is Returning to Space Service. Construction Resumes on the Starship Hyperion at Telos U. InfiniD Moved On Up! The Imaginarium.

The iWorlds Trailer Simulator Donated to Telos Discovery Space Center.  The Valiant to be Restored and Relaunched.  

Hello Troops,
The Starship Valiant is coming back after taking an abnormally long siesta.  The Valiant is located in a long trailer. Twenty-five percent of the trailer makes up the Valiant's briefing room. The closet-sized Control Room is situated between the briefing room and simulator. The Valiant itself makes up the remaining 70% of the trailer.  Dave Moon, the Valiant's creator, and owner donated the ship to the Telos Discovery Space Center two weeks ago.  It was time for the simulator to be put to good use.

The Valiant was designed by myself, Dave Moon, and Shelley Ellington.  Its missions were written in the Union Guard universe (another universe from my overworked imagination).  The trailer's opened to the public in June 2011 at Thanksgiving Point's Museum of Ancient Life.  It was staffed by the Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center in a joint partnership.  

The Valiant was moved to Park City High School in November. Casey Voeks ran a school-based program from November to May. He ran the Valiant and lodged with iWorlds founder Wes Smith during that time. It is safe to say that Casey is the one person who knows the the ship inside and out. Afterward, the simulator was retired to Provo where it sat in mothballs for five long years. 

Fast forward to June 2017.  The Valiant is back!        

The Valiant's new home at Telo's U's new campus in Vineyard, Utah.

Megan Warner, Maeson Busk, Ryan Anderson, Kendrick Gines, Nathan King and I inspect the Valiant

I was surprised to find the Valiant in fairly good repair after having sat through so many season changes.  The chairs need replacing. The electrics need a good going over. The computers work but may need to be upgraded.  Overall,  with a bit of TLC the Valiant will be relaunched to much fanfare and celebration.  It was and is a beautiful ship.

Telos Discovery Space Center hopes to find a home for the Valiant at a school somewhere in the Springville / Spanish Fork area to service the needs of our space-faring friends down south. 

Mr. Williamson   

An Article from the Daily Herald on The Opening of the Valient at Thanksgiving Point. June 11, 2011 

LEHI -- An idea that started with a simple space shuttle structure inside a Pleasant Grove school room 20 years ago has lifted off into a new out-of-this-world adventure at Thanksgiving Point.

A collaboration between the Christa McAuliffe Space Center and the iWorlds Foundation, iWorlds is an interactive space experience that puts you at the controls. As participants journey into outer space they will create their own adventure because each person controls the decisions on the flight.
Not just entertainment, iWorlds also stimulates the mind, according to Rachel Moon, iWorlds director.
"It is a great activity for kids because it is entertaining them but at the same time it is challenging their minds," Moon said. "A lot of parents comment that their kids are wanting to use science now."
The center is also designed to help develop decision-making skills, enhance teamwork and teach responsibility. A variety of roles creates a cohesive, interdependent crew, with each individual being assigned a specific role.
In fact, many of the employees of iWorlds grew up participating and working at the Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center at Central Elementary School. Emily Paxman began working there 10 years ago when she was 12 years old and has had the opportunity to design some of the graphics for iWorlds.
"You get this sense of fulfillment," she said about her job. "But every day is different and every day allows for you to be creative as different characters and depending on what's going on in the mission."
Paxman said she credits space center founder Victor Williamson for a lot of her enthusiasm for her job. "He is amazing, an absolutely phenomenal man," she said. "He is just your perfect combination of wisdom, common sense and creativity. He is just an absolutely fantastic, brilliant man."
Co-worker Todd Rasband said another attribute Williamson has is patience.
Williamson, a Central Elementary School teacher, said he found and has always had the philosophy that teaching with interaction is the best way for students to learn.
So armed with a federal grant, Williamson began to develop the Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center in the early 1990s. Chances are that if you grew up in northern Utah County, you had an opportunity to visit the space center during a field trip in fifth or sixth grade.
It didn't take long for Williamson to realize because of the overwhelming response of the community for this type of learning that the interactive space shuttle could be expanded to serve a broader range of audience.
With the same learning philosophy, iWorlds was created in partnership with iWorlds Foundation and the Christa McAuliffe Space Center. Sandwiched between the dinosaur museum and movie theater at Thanksgiving Point, iWorlds has the capability of adapting an adventure to children as young as 8 to seniors.
Everyone has a different experience and each journey is one that has never been done before.
Sterling Richards, 9, of American Fork was on his first space adventure Wednesday. "It was neat," Richards said. "I was shooting the aliens."
His brother Lincoln Richards, 12, and sister Ellie Richards, 10, have been going on space missions at Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center for a few years, but this was their first adventure at iWorlds.
Lincoln Richards was designated as the weapons controller and Ellie Richards got to be the ship navigator.
"I thought driving the ship was the funnest part," Ellie Richards said. "You have to dodge the torpedoes."
"If you like space and video games you need to come here because it is all mixed together like in a simulator," said Lincoln Richards with a smile.
A two-hour mission costs $15. An accelerated one-hour mission is $12. For a complete list of departure times you can or call (801) 768-2300.
"You need to try it because it is nothing you have ever tried before," Moon said. "It is more interactive than just watching a show."
Construction Resumes on the Starship Hyperion at Telos U in Vineyard, Utah

The Hyperion's walls are going up. Construction has resumed. 
Work on the Hyperion at Telos U was put on hold for several months while the folks at Telos created the Telos Discovery Space Center and assumed control of the DSC's simulators at Canyon Grove Academy in Pleasant Grove and Merit Academy in Springville.  

With the closing of the Merit Academy location, and the hiring of Megan Warner to direct operations at Canyon Grove, Dr. Ryan Anderson is free to work full time on the Hyperion's construction and curriculum.  The pause gave Telos time to reconsider the Hyperion's design.  Reflecting on the ship's original design, and the design of other simulators in Utah County, the Telos team decided to enlarge the Hyperion by adding extra storage, a sick bay, and an engineering bay. 

The Troubadour will keep you updated on the Hyperion's construction. 

Well, If the Hyperion is Under Construction, Where did InfiniD Go?  

Our good friends at InfiniD have moved office locations from the second to the third floor at Telos U in Vineyard.  You can't run a business in a construction zone.  Casey, Skyler, Brooks, and Kendrick can work anywhere. Give them computers, provide a quiet place to Imagineer, and get out of their way while they work to revolutionize education.  From humble beginnings come great things.

Mr. W. 

The Imaginarium