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

Sunday, February 25, 2018

The Troubadour Celebrates its 10 Year Anniversary! Enjoy the Blog's First Posts. See Pictures from the Time. And of Course, the Sunday Theater Imaginarium

The Volunteers at play around my desk in the Briefing Room
The Voyager's Bridge. 2008
The Voyager's Bridge 2008

The Voyager's Decontamination Hallway 2008

The Voyager's Crew Quarters and Galley 2008 on Deck 2

The Voyager's Deck 2 Sick Bay 2008
A crew gets ready for launch on the USS Voyager
The Galileo in 2008

Taylor Thomas and volunteer flight directing the Galileo I

The Programmers at play around my desk in the Briefing Room

Megan Warner enjoying a quick Overnight Camp breakfast of donut, chocolate milk and Gogurt

The Odyssey's Chris Call preferred his hot chocolate over the breakfast I served on the Overnight Camps

An Overnight Camp Odyssey Crew

Bridger playing the role of Odyssey Doctor for Chris

Megan Warner at the Phoenix Helm flying an overnight camp

The Phoenix Crew with volunteer Doctor

The Phoenix Crew on an overnight mission

Mr. Daymont and the Magellan staff: Jordan F., Metta S.

Metta Smith and Wyatt Carlson

The Magellan crew thinking of solutions

The Staff at work interacting with the Magellan crew

Amber playing the Magellan Doctor

Can the Magellan crew figure a solution?

Well, there is always one way to solve a problem in the Magellan

Hello Fellow Troubadours,
Yes, this is the month our little blog celebrates its 10 year anniversary.  Ten years ago on February 8, 2008 I created The Troubadour to compliment my YahooGroup "SpaceEdVentures".  The Troubadour was originally titled "Voyagers Log"which is why it has that url you see in the address bar "".  I had intended to create an ongoing never ending story of life on the Starship Voyager in its never ending voyage to the stars.  The Troubadour's first post introduced the blog's first readers to the main character.  This is the first post from Sunday, February 10, 2008.

Life on the USS Voyager: An Officer's Journal Part 1

Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Space Center's first simulator was the Voyager. These articles are the journal entries of a member of the USS Voyager's crew set in the same time frame as our missions. I hope this story helps our staff and campers get a better understanding of our universe and ships.

Mr. Williamson

February 10, 2408     I woke up with a headache. Sometimes you sleep wrong - your head gets all twisted up pointing at 90 degrees to the rest of your body. You wake up, and for a brief moment all is well until you move your head to straighten it out and then POP! You know your next stop  is sick bay.      I sat up, "fifty percent lights" I said to the computer. The light levels increased to twilight. I stumbled into the shower. You learn quickly how to shower in 30 seconds on a starship. First you get wet all over, then turn the flow to pause, lather up, and rinse off. I air dried to save water by reducing the need for towels.      My breakfast consisted of crunchy yogurt and orange juice. I sat on my small Starfleet standard steel gray sofa and crunched away. The sofa faces the window. Stars streamed by leaving long bands of vibrant color in their wake. The Voyager was at warp. My guess was warp 4 by the length of the light streams. The gentle hum of the engines wrapped the ship in a soothing blanket of sound. I looked at the clock. 8:00 A.M. It was time to get moving. Another day was starting and my junior cadets would be waiting for their morning paces.     I got a few hellos and some funny looks from crewmen as I walked down Deck 5's hallway toward Sick Bay. There is something funny about a man walking with his head twisted to one side as if trying to carry on a conversation with his shoulder. 
The Voyager's Brig with the new glow in the dark carpet everyone hated (except me or I wouldn't have picked it out)

And that was that - the first post.  
I introduced "The Troubadour" to the Space Center's staff and volunteers through the YahooGroup on February 12, 2008 with this post:

Hello Troops,
The Troubadour, the Space Center's Newsletter / Journal is now kept online. You can visit it at the following link.
It is also linked directly to the Space Center's News web link. The news section of our web site will now be the most updated part of the site. I'd like to keep it updated with stories (The Officer's Log of the USS Voyager), reviews of our missions, and of course news. Would you like to write something for The Troubadour? Remember, it must be written with the audience in mind. Anything on The Troubadour now is open to anyone to read, including our campers. As you write don't air your grips and don't write about the exact way we do things on the other side of the wall.

On the other hand, comments from staff and volunteers will make the Center more interesting to our campers. This is a way for them to learn some of the inside stories of the Center. This gives a feeling of understanding and with that loyalty. 
Best Wishes,Mr. Williamson 
The first official post related to Space Center business was posted on Saturday, February 16, 2008.  This post contained the first picture of staff and volunteers.  Congratulations to Stacy Carrell (now Stacy Harken)  for being the first to appear in "The Troubadour!" Congratulations to Spenser Dauwalder for being the first one to be mentioned as winner of the Director's Trophy.


Overnight Camp Camper Satisfaction Inventory

Stacy Carrell briefing her overnight camp crew in the Briefing Room

Hello Troops:
Here are the results from the student survey taken by the campers at the end of the Overnight Camp of February 15-16, 2008. This camp was sponsored by the the students of Cherry Hill Elementary and our Frequent Flyers. There were 42 campers.

Our Flight Directors were:

Voyager: Bradyn L. (Shadows: 10 campers)
Phoenix: Megan Warner (Olympia: 6 campers)
Odyssey: BJ Warner (Outlaws: 7 campers)
Galileo: Spenser D. (Parameter: 5 campers)
Magellan: Brittney V. (Red Storm Rising: 14 campers)


The first question: Think about your story in the simulators. Were they fun? Did it have good characters? Did it challenge your brain or way too easy to solve?

Here are their choices:
A = 1
B = 2
C = 3
D = 4
F = 5
Here are the results. Remember, a 1 is a perfect score.
Voyager story's quality score: 1.00 (Last camp's score: 1.70)
Galileo story's quality score: 1.00 (Last camp's score: 1.60)
Magellan story's quality score: 1.00 (Last camp's score: 1.20)
Odyssey story's quality score: 1.00 (Last camp's score: 1.13)
Phoenix story's quality score: 1.33 (Last camp's score: 1.67)

The next question: How would you grade the Staff of the simulators? Think
about friendliness, helpfulness, and acting.

Voyager staff's quality score: 1.10 (Last camp's score: 1.20)
Galileo staff's quality score: 1.00 (Last camp's score: 1.60)
Magellan staff's quality score: 1.00 (Last camp's score: 1.00)
Odyssey staff's quality score: 1.00 (Last camp's score: 1.13)
Phoenix staff's quality score: 1.50 (Last camp's score: 1.00)

The next question: How much did you enjoy your job in the simulators?
Choices: (1 = Great; 2 = Good; 3 = OK; 4 = Not So Good; 5 = Bad)

Voyager job's quality score: 1.50 (Last camp's score: 1.60)
Galileo job's quality score: 1.00 (Last camp's score: 1.40)
Magellan job's quality score: 1.29 (Last camp's score: 1.40)
Odyssey job's quality score: 1.00 (Last camp's score: 1.50)
Phoenix job's quality score: 1.67 (Last camp's score: 1.50)


The next question: Did you feel doing your job made a difference in the

The Camper's choices were: Yes(1) Maybe (2) No (3)

Voyager making a difference quality score: 1.30 (Last camp's score: 1.40)
Galileo making a difference quality score: 1.00 (Last camp's score: 1.20)
Magellan making a difference quality score: 1.21 (Last camp's score: 1.13)
Odyssey making a difference quality score: 1.14 (Last camp's score: 1.38)
Phoenix making a difference quality score: 1.17 (Last camp's score: 1.00)

The final question: Would you like to come back to the Space Center again for another mission?

The Camper's choices were: Yes (1) Maybe (2) No (3)
Yes: 100% (42 students)
Maybe: 0% (0 students)
No: 0% (0 students)

The Director's Trophy: Overall Scores averaged:

Voyager: 1.18 LAST WEEK'S SCORE: 1.38
Magellan: 1.10 LAST WEEK'S SCORE: 1.15
Odyssey: 1.03 LAST WEEK'S SCORE: 1.25
Galileo: 1.00 LAST WEEK'S SCORE: 1.36
Phoenix: 1.33 LAST WEEK'S SCORE: 1.23

Overall Average: 1.13 Last Week : 1.27

The GALILEO is awarded the Director's Trophy! Super Job Spenser D. and his staff of one - Corbin, a Central student.


Our Satisfaction Scores for the Overnight Camp. Campers were asked the following question at the end of their survey.

1. How would you rate your overall experience for this overnight camp?

Their choices follow:

10 = The funnest thing I've ever done in my life.
5 = As Good as watching my Favorite Movie for the first time.
1 = The Most Horrible, Boring time I've ever had.

The students are asked to rate the overall camp experience on that scale. They are given verbal instructions on the rating system to insure comprehension.

Here are the results for today's overnight camp.

Voyager: This Week: 9.20 Last Week: 9.20
Galileo: This Week: 10 Last Week: 8.80
Phoenix: This Week: 9.67 Last Week: 8.00
Magellan: This Week: 9.29 Last Week: 9.80
Odyssey: This Week: 9.71 Last Week: 9.63

The GALILEO takes the Prize for Best Overall Score!

Overall Ranking by all campers for this Overnight Camp:
This Week's All Ship Average: 9.57 out of a perfect 10.
Last Week's All Ship Average: 9.09 out of a perfect 10

Thanks All for Another Great Overnight Camp!  Thanks for all you do to support the Space Center,
Mr. Williamson 

The Voyager story that premiered on The Troubadour's opening post continued on Monday, February 18, 2008 with this story continuation of life aboard the Starship Voyager.


Life on the USS Voyager: An Officer's Journal Part 2

The Space Center's first simulator was the Voyager. These articles are the journal entries of a member of the USS Voyager's crew set in the same time frame as our missions. I hope this story helps our staff and campers get a better understanding of our universe and ships.
Mr Williamson

February 10, 2408 (Continues)

     The Voyager’s sick bay sits at the end of a long, slowly turning hallway on Deck 5. From the starboard lift it can take a minute to reach at a brisk walk. I approached the automatic door in hopes of finding an empty waiting room. My anticipation turned quickly to disappointment. Every seat was full. I don’t want to exaggerate, every seat means all four of them but when you are in a hurry, four might as well be fifteen.
     I presented my thumbprint on the computer registrar. “Hello Commander Williamson,” the monitor said in a soothing female voice. Just the voice you’d want to hear if you were coughing up a lung. “You have been registered. Please be seated. Your estimated wait time is twelve minutes.”
     I thought about my next course of action. Twelve minutes wasn’t enough time to do something else but an eternity when your standing in a room full of the sick and near dead. My choice became clear when the computer monitor invited Ensign Jackson to step into the DC (Diagnostic Center). I took the empty chair and picked a place on the wall to stare. My super ego, trained by years of service in the fleet, reminded me of the work I could be doing on my Pad. I took it out and scrolled through my messages. It is amazing how easy it was to delete a message without reading it when your not feeling well. I put it away after discovering it was too uncomfortable to read with my head locked to one side. I went back to my passive examination of the spot on the wall.
     “How are your new recruits?” Lt. Marlow asked from across the room in a low, raspy voice. Lt. Marlow was new to the Voyager. A member of the ship’s security department. A survivor of the USS Baltimore. She was found alive in an escape pod two weeks after the battle. Her pod mates had died one by one. The experience had an effect on her I was told by those that knew her from before the war. She was once a ‘by the book’ kind of officer. The new Marlow was kind and quick to turn an eye from things that, at another time, would have sent her straight to the Captain.
     “They’re a challenge. Raw material waiting for the refiners fire,” I answered turning my whole body toward her because of my screwed up neck.
     “I see you slept wrong,” she said to continue the conversation. “I’ve done that before. They’ll get you squared away in no time. They’ve got this new muscle relaxer that will put you right as rain.” The conversation ended with a coughing spasm. She was called in right after that.
     Twenty minutes after registering my name was announced. I pulled out my Pad and quickly messaged the cadets giving them a reading assignment intended to keep them occupied until I could get there.
     “Commander Williamson,” the monitor said again without any sign of annoyance at my delay. I stood up and walked toward the small hallway to the DC.  A 
door opened at the end of the hall . I walked in facing a holographic doctor.
     “Please describe your illness in detail,” the projection said. I gave it my symptoms.
     “Please step into the Diagnostic Chamber,” the hologram said politely. I stepped in.
A light came on and the scanner did its thing. A solid bar of light moved across my body from head to toe, front and back. I was asked to place my right index finger into the ring at the end of the hand hold. I felt a quick jab - blood had been drawn. "Remove," the computer ordered. I did. A small red dot marked the spot of entry .
     The last step of the scan was the sniffer. Air was blown over my body and monitored. Smells tell a great deal about a person’s health I’ve been told.  “Please step away from the Chamber,” the holograph said. I looked into the eyes of the projection. They were looking at me but also not quite focused correctly into my eyes. Very real - yet not quite. I was directed to another small waiting room. I waited another ten minutes and in walked the Ship’s Doctor.
     Dr Monroe was ancient by any standard. His records indicated an age of 126. Mandatory retirement used to be 100. Now, after the war, retirement is a thing of the past. All reserves are back in service. Monroe, as he wanted to be called, had a
no holds bar attitude toward everything. “Im too old to care about procedures,” he repeated to anyone who had time to listen. His dress and mannerisms reflected his attitude.
     “When you’re 126,” I told my cadets before their first physicals with Monroe,”You can say and act any way you like, but at twelve years you do it my way or there is always the airlock.” They understood.
     “According to this report from the DC you’ve got a broken leg and low blood sugar,” Monroe said leaning against the wall chewing the end of a stylus. His face was unshaven and his shirt untucked. His white hair hadn’t seen a brush in years. He stopped reading and looked at my leg from the doorway. “Looks more like a broken neck. That damn DC couldn’t tell the difference between an apple and orange,” he snorted as he hobbled toward me.
     I thought to engage him in a conversation. “My leg isn't broken, I just can't stand straight. As for the low blood sugar - I think it's just another false reading. Why haven’t the tecks fixed the DC? Last time I was in here you were using some pretty colorful language to describe its diagnostic abilities.”
     He waved his hand in front of his face to say a conversation about the techs would only be a waste of valuable oxygen. He ran his fingers over the back of my neck.
     “Ow!” I reacted to his less than gentle examination.
     “This will do the job,” he said. I felt a jab and a warmth flooded across the back of my neck. I lifted my head upright. No pain. “There, you don’t look like those eccentric Breens anymore. We’re busy right now so come back in a few days and we will look at your blood sugar. Most likely nothing but wouldn’t hurt to check it out again.”
     “Thanks Monroe,” I said as he hobbled toward the next exam room. “Buy me a drink in the lounge next time I see you - it's the only kind of thanks needed.” His voice trailed behind him as he disappeared around the corner.
     I was off toward the lift and the waiting cadets.

The first month's posts also contained this email from a teacher


An Email from a Teacher

Mr. Williamson,
     Thank you very much for the great experience my students from Emerson had last night. Everything about it was perfect for them and they couldn't stop talking about it. I'm sure you find that a lot, but I was just hoping that all of the students would get into it. It was so fun to look around and see all of them very busy and engaged and having a great time.      
     The last time I came to your space center was about 15 years ago, and even though it was about the same idea, this was much better. All of your employees were also very good and helpful.  A great learning experience!

Thanks again,
Margaret A.

My intentions for The Troubadour to be that ongoing story of living on the Starship Voyager quickly changed after seeing the potential of a blog over the YahooGroup.  Her is another post from that first month's postings. 


A Letter from a Happy Teacher


A heartfelt thanks for hosting us at the Space Center for our 6th grade field trip this year. I wish you could join us on the bus as we go back to the school so you could hear the comments the kids are making about the experience they had. They absolutely love how interactive/stressful and exciting the mission becomes. I appreciate the way you interact with them during the mission and the "grown-up" feeling that they have as they have to do it all on their own, without "teacher" help.

The whole experience was so well planned, as it always is. Smooth transitions from place to place, interesting science lessons and wonderful star lab presentation. This year I had an ELL student with very limited English and he was able to participate successfully as a decoder. Tell me any other field trip that that would happen with....such a difficult spot
for a kid to be in, limited English, and he's able to fully participate and engage in the whole experience! Impressive.

The atmosphere at that school just screams "learn, learn, think, think" and I'm sure that's due to the presence of the space center. It just feels like you want to be there and be professional and become a scientist! All of the kids commented on the cleanliness of the school, the organization of the program, the patient and helpful way that the teachers interacted with them and the successful feeling that they had. The teacher in the science room (stars, light, etc) did a brilliant job of sticking right with our core and showing them interactive experiments that we draw on all year as we complete our science studies.

I "brag you up" every year (this is my third year) and every year I'm more impressed as I come and realize the work that has gone into this experience for kids. Thanks for letting us come (we're Jordan School District) and participate in an experience that truly is that one unforgettable moment in the life of a sixth grader.

You're brilliant.
Tell all your staff I think they are the best.
Laurie Benson
Rosamond Elementary
Riverton, Utah

The Troubadour's first month ended with this update by Sheila Powell. Sheila and Lorraine Houston were my two field trip classroom teachers. They were amazing to say the least.  2008 was one of the Center's best years!

Dr. Sheila with her field trip students


Fun Experiences in the Classroom

By Sheila Powell
Space Center Teacher

I had a fun experience in the classroom last week that I must share, too: I had just shown the kids the video clip of how the balance of nuclear fusion energy and gravity forms stars. I asked the kids if stars have so many nuclear fusion reactions at any one time, what keeps the stars from "blowing apart"? No answer from any of the kids, expect one. The kid was sitting right in front of me at the front of the class. He jumped up (scared me really!), waving and yelling loudly "GRAVITY!!!" I was a bit stunned by his excitement, and said something to the affect of:" I appreciate your enthusiasm, and yes Gravity is the correct answer". I gave him a marshmallow for his answer...he continued his excitement by doing a "high-five-I'M great-I'm good" dance in front of the class. I said, I appreciate your excitement for the answer (trying to calm him a bit), but then he responded: "You don't understand. I'm not the brightest kid in this class and when I get an answer right it's really a big deal for me!!!!!!" 
     I started laughing, his teaching started laughing...the whole class was roaring with laughter at this kid's answer and announcement of his "place in the world." The kid was laughing too as what he'd said!! I thanked him for his answer and his honesty regarding his educational status in the class. We all continued to giggle for awhile and finally got back to business. But I do know this: That kid "beamed" so brightly, proud of his answer, that for the rest of the time, I didn't need to turn on the lights in the classroom. We/the space center helped that kid realize, if only for a brief moment, that he was smart, capable and equal to his classmate. Yep, that was a great moment...a "Mount Everest" teaching/student moment indeed!!!

Here's another fun story from the classroom:

     As I was preparing yet another group for the scary transporting process, one young girl looked at me particularly frightened. She looked a bit pale in fact. I reassured her that the transporting process was painless, and would only make her "armpits tickle" for a moment and then she would be on the ship.."at the speed of light", I told her. She looked me dead in eye and said, "I trust you...for now", and stepped bravely into the transporter. As I quickly rotated the transporter tube and preceded to transport her to her Voyager destination, we all (those anxiously waiting to be transported) heard her yell LOUDLY , "Tell my mother I love her!" We all burst out laughing.!!!! I love the fine line we all walk-- moving the kids everyday between reality and sci-fi ---with these kids...too much fun!!!!


Happy 10 Year Anniversary to The Troubadour.  Thank you to all you readers. We are few but we are devoted and avid fans of the Space Centers and the Space EdVenturing movement as it spreads far and wide thanks to the work of today's Troubadours.  

Mr. Williamson

Theater Imaginarium
The Best Gifs of the Week Edited for a Gentler Audience

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Blast from the Past: The Best Posts from August 2001. Know Your Space Center History. Central Construction. Staff and Volunteer Lagoon Trip. Dave Wall's Simulator and Much More. The Imaginarium.

Mr. Daymont Directing a Magellan Mission. Chief Okinawa is Really Upset About Something 

Hello Troops,
Tonight, on this bitterly cold Saturday evening in Pleasant Grove, I'm posting another Blast from the Past Historical Post giving you the chance to learn the history of this Space EdVenturing movement using primary documents from the Space Center's first blog - the YahooGroup SpaceEdVentures.  You'll find them interesting and perhaps even entertaining.  Please take a moment to read. I've highlighted important reading points to draw your eye.  

Best Wishes,
Mr. Williamson

Blast From the Past: Learn Your Space Center History.  Tonight's Post Covers August 2001

Space Center Journal: Broken Air Conditioners. The Overnight Camp Worked Regardless. The Staff and Volunteer Trip to Lagoon.  Visiting Dave Wall's Pathfinder Simulator in Salt Lake City. August 19, 2001
By Victor Williamson

What a week. Again I say we are living proof that humans have the 
ability to adapt to difficult surroundings and can accomplish the impossible. The electrical work still isn't finished. The school still looks like a level 5 tornado swept through. They are only now starting work on the Sixth Grade bathrooms so that hallway is impassable. Work on the Magellan was still in progress a day before the overnighter. The Discovery was usable for 1/2 the overnighter. 

On Friday I noticed the air conditioning wasn't working in the cafeteria (home of the Falcon and Galileo). I called maintenance to send a specialist over. I then noticed that the electrician had cut power to the control panel that operates the air conditioner. I found 
an electrician to rewire that system so the controls were working. The specialist came without my knowledge and turn the air conditioner on(or so he thought). He left without telling me he had come. He also left without going into the Cafeteria and checking to see if the thing had actually come on. It hadn't. It was more phone calls. The overnighter started. The temperature in the cafeteria was approaching 90 degrees. The Galileo's computers were freezing up. To top that off there were large traffic jams on the freeways. We were getting calls from parents of campers telling me to hold up and let them get the ship 
of their choice. 

I went in and sat down in the cafeteria (sauna) and wondered what it the heck was I doing there. It is sobering to be powerless as things spiral down around you. 

Enough was enough. I stood up, all present or not, and we started. I ordered the Galileo to close (luckily we didn't have enough kids to fill it anyway). We started. I got the kids divided into teams and to the simulators. Then the late kids began arriving. My own Voyager 
crew had to sit and wait for me. They lost a good 45 minutes to 1 hour of their simulator time to the problems. They were good about it.  Thing hit bottom and began moving upward when the specialist arrived to work on the air conditioner. 30 minutes later it was on and the 
temperature in the cafeteria began dropping. We made it. 

The crews were all good kids. Mostly newcomers but all good kids. There were several deaths in all of the ships. Reviews were good. 

It seems the school will look fairly normal for the next overnighter. The halls will be cleaned and waxed on Monday and Tuesday. The electricians will be out of the building on Monday. The bathroom will be finished by the end of next week. We are getting back to normal 
after a very disruptive summer. 

A special thanks to Mr. Daymont, Herring, and Schuler for their willingness to work in the heat and for their positive attitude. A thank you to Mrs Houston for the cakes and treats Friday evening. 

Our staff and volunteer Lagoon trip was on Wednesday. We left the school at 9:00 A.M. and stopped at Dave Wall's new simulator "Pathfinder" in Salt Lake City.  All of us were impressed. Several flight directors came out with wish lists and ideas on how we could implement some of Dave's ideas into our sims. 

Lagoon was fun. They got me onto Rattlesnake Rapids. I got drenched. I rode the new ride "Cliffhanger" and wondered how anyone could enjoy torture so much. I guess my body isn't constructed to hang upside down for extended periods of time. I'll let others that were at Lagoon write their impressions if they choose. I haven't much to say except that I really enjoyed the day and your company. It is good for us to get together and "Play" as if we don't do enough of that at the Center.

School starts for me on Tuesday. I'll be in 2 days of workshops and then meetings. Have Pity.

All of you enjoy your last week of vacation!!! Get yourselves ready for another school year. Positive attitudes and stiff upper lips. Set high goals for what you want to achieve this year and then meet those goals. Schooling is the doorway to your future. It is your job for 
the next 9 months. Of course, don't forget - I'll be watching.  Remember you need to turn in your quarterly grades. No grades below a C please. 

All the best my friends. Again, post your impressions of Lagoon and I want to hear more from Julie. She just returned from Space Camp. 
Mr. Williamson 

What We Can Learn from the Space Camp in Alabama.  They Had Better Facilities. They Had Correlated Classes.  They Had Better Food.  Their Simulators Could Communicate Together. 
By Julie Collette

What can we learn from them? Well, a lot of what made this space camp so cool was that they had the facilities in order to do it. Not only did they have the massive "habitat" and cafeteria, but it was a museum as well as Rocket Park, surrounding you with things related to NASA. This put you in the "NASA mood" the entire time you were at  camp. I have no idea how we would ever be able to build something like a Star Trek museum, and if we did we would definitely have to charge more. A LOT more. So there are just some things that can't be fixed. Part of the problem is that we started from scratch, with one simulator built inside of a school. 

They had three simulators in which we had training, then we did a 1-hour mission in all three, and after that they had what they call an EDM (Extended Duration Mission). In the EDM we were able to choose which simulator and which position we would like. This might work for the Space Center on 48-hours or if we do the Edventure Camp again. The only problem would be running the classes, because, no offense, but no one would choose the class as their favorite. If, however, we could figure out a way that this would work, it would give everyone a chance to do their favorite simulator again, as well as maybe choose 
another job that looked fun for them as well. Although, this could cause conflicts right and left. 

Another thing they did better was the food, shockingly enough. This is rather embarrassing on our part because we feed less than 100 and they feed 800. Why was it better? I have no idea.

As I briefly mentioned in the previous post, all three of their simulators communicated with one another. For instance, MOCR gave Enterprise a go for take-off and if Enterprise ever experienced problems, they could once again contact MOCR and get advice from 
them. If it were ever possible, it would be cool if when Odyssey calls Voyager for permission to dock or undock, they would actually call Voyager. And same thing when one ship sends a long-range message to update them on their progress. 

One of the cool things about the classes we attended was that they gave us important information that we would need to know for the simulation. If only we had a way to do this. Maybe at the beginning everyone could learn a brief history of Star Trek and the characters, more than is in briefings. This would just ensure that the very best 
teams are winning in the end. I don't know exactly how this would work, but I will just have to say that I never thought it would be vital to know our exact altitude and velocity on the Orbiter until after we died. I guess that's why we didn't win in the end.

Basically, there's not a lot we can learn from them because first of all we don't have the facilities and second of all we don't have the numbers and fame. And, we are more creative with our stories. But if you have any questions about how they might have run things 
differently that I did not cover, please feel free to ask. And for those of you who feel like spending your summer's worth of savings, I would encourage you to attend one of the several Space Camps.


James Porter Makes Threat. Who Messed With the Galileo?
August 25, 2001
By James Porter

Hello, my name is James Porter. Mr. Herring and I are flight directors for the Galileo. Unless one of us tells you (Or the higher beings known as Victor and Mark ) to do something concerning the Galileo... Don't do it. Don't go into the "control room" and mess with
stuff. Recently the 3 CD's I use have been taken. If you know about their whereabouts, please tell me.

Thank you
-James Porter

Warning - I will only be disgruntled if you give them back. I will KILL you if I find out you have them.

Space Center Journal. Central School is in Shambles. High Teacher Stress. My Speech to the New Teachers Detailing the Space Center's Story.  My Tribute to the Voyager and the Many People Who Were Part of Her Creation.  Aaron Yeager's Last Mission.  Stephen Porter and Jennifer Remy Accept Jobs at Central and the Space Center.
August 26, 2001
By Victor Williamson

Hello troops,
This has been an interesting week for me. I've gone to work daily and did what I needed to do to get things ready for our school season. Around me at Central the teacher's and principal's stress levels have been pushing the breaking point. The classrooms are not all ready. The cabinet makers are still installing. The electricians are not finished. The Sixth Grade bathrooms are at least a week away from completion. The halls were a disaster. The work of some was being undone by the work of others (for example, the floor waxing crew came in on Monday and Tuesday and mopped and waxed the school. The floors were as shiny as clear lake reflecting the afternoon sun. The day after they left the workers were back on the floors dragging equipment from place to place. The shimmering lake soon was looking like the floor crew had wasted their time). Teachers were commenting how calm 
and "organized" I seemed to be. 

"Its like this," I said. "My stress level was as high as yours for about 2 full months during our summer season. Now that our season is finished I can calm down and relax and enjoy seeing the rest of you reach the place I was at just a few weeks ago. Gives me great pleasure that does...." Of course I have to make for the door quickly after saying that to 
avoid the books and desks being hurled in my direction. 

The Center was closed Monday for waxing. Tuesday was the first day all teachers had to be back to work. I've had two days of UPASS training. This training is required so we better understand what we have to do to get you folks prepared to take your SAT 9 tests. The training was held in the Briefing Room. 

On the second day of training Dr. Jacobson (our new principal) asked me to get up and tell the story of the Space Center to the new teachers. I stood up and began:

I told them about my first simulations back in the spring of 1983 in room 18 at Central. Room 18 was the home of the first Starship at Central. I told them about the overhead projectors and the simple drawings. I told them about the music from the boombox and my position 
behind my desk. 

I told them about the Central's first Young Astronaut Clubstarted in 1985. They didn't know our club was one of the top 10 in the nation. I told them how we were selected to represent the United States at International Conferences in Japan, Korea, and Russia (twice). I told them about our club hosting International Camps here.

I told them the story of the Voyager. They understood, perhaps for the first time, the great sacrifice made by so many people to bring the Voyager to a reality.

The Voyager 
Sometimes I sit on her bridge and look at the walls amazed that this is where it all started. I remember standing on the playground where the bridge is now wondering if I would ever raise enough money to build her. Once the ground was broken I would stand near the present brig looking at the cement foundations really afraid I couldn't raise enough money to finish construction. I wrote grant after grant. Talked to business after business. I worked with so many good people that saw my vision and graciously offered their time and talents. Oh, the stories the walls of this fine old ship could tell you. The lives that have been changed. The lives that have been enriched. I told them it may seem like a cool couple of well equipped rooms to them but to those of us that were there to see this all unfold and develop it was nothing short of a miracle. 

To me the Voyager is a living monument dedicated to the hundreds and thousands of people that have come through her doors. A monument standing as a testament that your dreams can come true if you are willing to pay the price. The Voyager tells all that come to imagine 
big, to make your ideas tangible and real. It tells us not to accept 
"no" for an answer. 

Sometimes, in the quiet of the moment, you should go and sit on the Voyager's bridge. Just you and the four walls. Listen to the voices. Listen to the laughing and crying. Listen closely, and you can faintly hear the pounding music and the alien's deep voice. You will feel the old staff. They all left a part of themselves in that room. 

I told them the story of the Space Center. I told them that the saying from the movie is true. "If you build it they will come." They came. You came. So here we all are - partners in a unique American experience. Where else but in America would you find this? 

The room was quiet when I finished. Perhaps out of fear that Mr. Williamson finally had "rounded the bend" or perhaps because that for the first time they realized that the cool rooms that make up the Center are the living, breathing, extensions of some of the most 
wonderful people to ever come together for a common cause. 

Thank you my friends for what you do. 

The overnight mission went well. It was a bittersweet moment. That overnighter was our last scheduled summer program. The summer binder is now empty. No more camps and no more campers names for the summer of 2001. Of course you can't have your last summer camp without something to remind us of the entire summer we lived through. At 9:15 
A.M. the power went out. All the ships went black.
The blackout only lasted 5 minutes. The Falcon kids stood in the partial darkness with arms outstretched holding up the collapsed walls. I thought, "Yes, this is the way to end this summer!". 

I'm happy to announce that Stephen Porter has accepted the position as Computer Aide for Central School. He will work in the Magellan every day from 9:30 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. I'm also happy to announce that Jennifer Remy will be joining us for daytime field trips.

The display case has new labels for the models. Mr. Schuler also deserves a round of applause for extra duty. 

Mr. Daymont is currently working a 2 new Odyssey private missions.

Saturday evening was Mr. Aaron Yeager's last private mission in the Odyssey. What an addition he made to the Center! Did you know that because of Aaron the Odyssey was able to put over 40 extra groups on missions this summer! That's over $3,200.00 extra dollars we wouldn't have had. I expressed thanks on behalf of all of you and twisted his arm to see if he wouldn't continue to take a few extra missions monthly. We shall see.


Well, I'm going to close this Journal entry. Please post your thoughts on this first week of school. What are your concerns and goals for this year. Let us know - it will motivate you to reach them.  I'll start....... My goal for this school year is to try to be more relaxed on the overnight missions. Now, help me reach my goal.

All the best my Friends.

Mr. Williamson

The Imaginarium