Visit to learn more about the Space Education Centers in Utah. Visit and for information on joining a simulator based school space and science club.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

A New Utah Starship Simulator at Jordan Ridge Elementary. Volunteering at the Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center. New Upgrades on the Magellan and Phoenix. Training Flight Directors. Theater Imaginarium.

Jordan Ridge Elementary to Become Utah's Newest InfiniD Lab Site  

It's always good news when a school joins the InfiniD network by converting their existing computer lab into a duel use computer lab/simulator running the InfiniD software and missions. So with a bit of fanfare and drum roll, The Troubadour is pleased to announce the site of the next InfiniD Lab: Jordan Ridge Elementary located in South Jordan, Utah; a part of the Jordan School District.  Sim47 will be Jordan Ridge's simulator's catalog number on the official register of simulators inspired by the USS Voyager at the CMSEC. It is scheduled to open in August 2017 just in time for the start of the school year. 

Utah is the experiential educational simulator capital of the world with both InfiniD Lab simulators and more traditional 'brick and mortar' (BM) simulators located at the CMSEC, TDSC, Farpoint, Lion's Gate, and soon two new BM simulators soon to open at Early Light Academy.  

Are you interested in scheduling an InfiniD lab demonstration at your neighborhood school?  Contact Skyler and team at  For information on visiting one of Utah's four space centers hosting starship simulators for field trips, private missions, or summer camps please visit

And... if you're curious what an InfiniD lab does, watch this short video.  


Nicole VandenBos Back for the Summer

Mr. Porter, director of the Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center in Pleasant Grove, is happy to welcome long time Magellan flight director veteran Nicole VandenBos back for the summer camp season. Nicole teaches elementary school in Heber, Utah during the school year and loves coming back to her old stomping grounds at the CMSEC for the summer months.  

It's never too late to sign up for a CMSEC summer camp.  Who know, you may be lucky enough to fly with Nicole on the Magellan. Go to to book your summer space camp today! 

Bradyn Returns Just for the Odyssey's New Chairs?

Bradyn is a student at American Fork High. I first met him when he was a 6th grader at Shelley Elementary School.  Bradyn is a diehard CMSEC fan and a former member of our Voyager Club. He participated in one of the club's long duration mission programs.

Like so many others, life stepped in to fill up much of Bradyn's time. There was school, and school, and more school along with marching band and a slew of other things that ate up much of his time. Then Bradyn heard a rumor that the Odyssey was getting new chairs as part of maintenance week.

Well, that was it. Time or no time, Bradyn was going to reactivate his volunteering status at the CMSEC. He had to see the Odyssey's new chairs.

It got emotional when he stepped into the Odyssey and saw the chairs for the first time. While not a connoisseur of fine chairs like Bradyn, I too was impressed by the style and overall comfort of the new Odyssey chairs.   

Once in the chair, it was hard to get him out. The Odyssey had a crew waiting in the hall and still, he wouldn't budge. I had to bribe him with a few cupcakes to get him to leave so the crew could start their private mission.

If the Odyssey's new chairs aren't motivation enough to return to volunteering (as it was for Bradyn) consider the new missions, the improved simulators,  and the smiling - happy staff as a reason enough to give volunteering another try.

Perhaps this may inspire you to don your black volunteering t-shirt and return to the simulators:

The Space Center has a new volunteer bulletin board as proudly displayed by Jon and one of the CMSEC's new volunteers.  Volunteers earn service patches, earn discounted missions, and recognition on the new Volunteer Board in the Discovery Room.  If you're good, you may find yourself with a real paying job at the Space Center.  How do you think Asst. Director Jon Parker got to where he is today?  That's right, he was one of the best volunteers I had back in the day.    

Orion is another outstanding CMSEC volunteer.  Did you know CMSEC volunteers are allowed to wear costumes you'd never ever consider wearing out in the real world?  Take Orion's hat and sling for example; there is no way Orion would wear that hat (which has seen better days) in public, but at the Space Center - no problem, as long as it fits the character he's playing - the slightly off ship's doctor.

Orion's ship's doctor character is a wiz at healing the crews he works with.  Phaser burns - no problem. Broken back - no problem. Brain hemorrhages - no problem.  Zombie viruses capable of wiping out an entire planet's population - no problem.  However, can he fix his own permanently broken arm?  Nope.... Heal thyself, Doctor. Heal thyself.  I'm thinking his arm really isn't broken. I'm thinking Orion uses the sling for sympathy. It is a great way to garner a few votes from concerned campers when they fill out their post camp surveys and are asked to rate the staff and volunteers.

If you're an old volunteer looking to return to the Space Center family, contact Mr. Porter and get started once again at the second happiest place on earth:  Mr. Porter would also like to hear from anyone interested in becoming a new volunteer.  Volunteering is a great way to learn working skills, meet new people, and practice your people and acting skills.  

Mr. Williamson

Some New Features on the Phoenix and Magellan Simulators
Jon Parker and volunteer Phoenix ship's doctor admire the Phoenix's restored dial and switch panel
Maintenance week has come and gone and I missed highlighting two cool new additions to the CMSEC.  The Phoenix (above) had it dial and switch panel restore to its old brilliance and operational status.  

The USS Magellan's sickbay pod has new LED diagnostic lights.  These are beyond cool and really add something to the feel of the Magellan's bridge.  

Here's a short video showing the lights in action.  The first half demonstrates the sick bay lights. The second half of the video was shot at the Telos Discovery Space Center at Canyon Grove Academy yesterday.  The TDSC is busy with private missions AND training new flight directors. The video shows flight director trainer Tristan teaching a young prospective flight director.  

Always Training New Staff. Always.

The Telos Discovery Space Center is always training new staff as seen in the video above.  You can't hire fully trained flight directors off the street so you need to train them yourself.

Volunteers wanting to be flight directors start their training by learning the 2nd chair position in the mission control room.  The next step is sitting behind the trainer flight director where you watch and learn.  The trainer lets the padawan run the microphone when he feels he is ready and has determined that the force is strong with that one.

TDSC was packed with volunteers on Saturday.  Two were learning to flight director. Several others were getting made up for their walk on acting rolls.  Talk about a room full of energy. Wonderful staff, outstanding volunteers - it's what makes a space center great.

Your Weekly Imaginarium Theater
The best gifs of the week edited for general audiences and lazy summer afternoons.

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