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Sunday, December 9, 2018

The Lonely Voyager has a Friend. The Space Academy is a Two Ship Center Now. Thank You InfiniD and Thank You US Synthetic. See the New Farpoint Universe Designs. Meet Last Week's Young Astronauts. Imaginarium Theater

The Titan. The Little Ship that Could docked near the Voyager's entrance at Renaissance Academy.
Friend of the Voyager

     It's not good for a ship to be alone, as was the case with the Starship Voyager at Renaissance Space Academy.  For the last three years or so, the lonely Voyager carried out its duties with a stiff upper lip never revealing an emptiness in its warp core. Thanks to InfiniD and the good folks at US Synthetics, the Voyager has a new little friend - the Titan.

The Bridge of Renaissance Space Academy's Starship Voyager

The Entrance to the Titan is from the back.

    The Space Academy is happy to announce the arrival of the Titan, on an extended and hopefully permanent loan from our good friends at InfiniD Learning.  We also have to thank Maeson Busk, Director of the Discovery Space Center at Canyon Grove Academy for his assistance in transporting the Titan through the darkness of space on a cold winter's night.  Meeting him in the cold was Bracken Funk, Assistant Director at the Space Academy, who masterfully directed the docking without any damage to the school's outer wall while still leaving the view of the playground for the two classrooms on either side of the ship.  It was spectacular to watch (I'm told).  I was at end of another long 12 hour day. I was pulling out of the parking lot as he was pulling in. 

The Titan's Interior. It's tight for sure but no more so than the Galileo

     The Titan was built by InfiniD Learning with a large grant from US Synthetic.  The Space Academy's own Alex DeBirk was one of the simulator's designers.  Skyer Carr did much of the construction (don't be offended if I left you out of the credits. I only know what I'm told and what I remember I'm told).

The Titan in action with Maeson at the helm
      InfiniD Learning owns the Titan. How it came about coming to the Space Academy involved a lunch appointment between Casey Voeks and Bracken Funk.  Bracken threatened to sit on Casey unless he relented and offered a long long term lease in exchange for a maintenance agreement and the right to use the ship whenever InfiniD needed.  There may be a few other fine details to the deal.  The devil in the details is the domain of Bracken and Mark Ursic. 

Maeson Busk and Spencer Baird.
I really like the Titan's industrial look. 

     The Titan's Control Room is the size of a car trunk so don't expect Bracken or I to be doing much flight directing. This gives our thinner flight directors, Alex DeBirk, Isaac Ostler, Spencer Baird, and Jensen Caldwell a place to practice their craft. 
     The Titan will be used alongside the Voyager for the Academy's Young Astronaut Long Duration Missions and a flight director training facility.  It will also be added to the family of Farpoint ships offering private missions to the public at a great price.  
     Watch for more Titan information on the Academy's Facebook page (be sure to 'like' the page while you're there) or on The Troubadour.  And of course let's not forget the Academy's website;

New Farpoint Universe Designs 

     The Discovery Space Centers at Telos University and Canyon Grove Academy along with the Renaissance Space Academy in Lehi are practitioners of the Farpoint Universe.  Designing a new science fiction universe is no easy task. Everyone in the Space EdVenturing community has an opinion and the old adage "you can't please everyone" is especially true in this situation. That being said, the six Farpoint simulators need stories, and with the stories come special effects: ships, logos, etc, etc, etc, etc..... you get the point.
     In step some very talented men and women.  A new Farpoint Universe ship design and logo was introduced to the Farpoint community last week for comment and approval.  

     We begin with a new concept for an Anowway jumpship by Dr. Ryan Anderson, Director of Telos Discovery Space Center. Ryan is getting better and better with his designs as the weeks and months pass.  It's reminiscent of the Star Trek Vulcan ships.  The jumpship has a wormhole generator ring used to fold space into hyperspace.  There were several other designs released but this was my favorite.  


     Rebecca Anderson, Ryan's wife, isn't too bad at logo work and sent this out for comment and review.  Star Trek has Starfleet, InfiniD has Colonial Command, and Farpoint has the Terran Space Command.  I like it. Notice there are 8 planets and one star.  
     The Farpoint Universe is an excellent playground for all types of simulator missions, both fun and educational. What's even better, there are no copyright issues because it is ours.  Come fly in our universe at any of our Centers.  Visit for more information and to book a private mission.


Meet a Few of the Space Academy's Young Astronauts

     This last week four of the Space Academy's twenty Young Astronaut squadrons launched and set course for their six month mission to the Cardilir Neutral Zone and destiny.
The Troubadour would like to introduce you to the four squadrons and the daring young astronauts who have as their goals the exploration of the universe, the defense of Earth, and the guarantors of freedom and democracy to Earth's dominions far and wide. 

The 4th Grade Phoenix Squadron

Their "don't mess with the Phoenix Squadron" look. A challenge to the other 19 squadrons.

The 4th Grade Lion Squadron launched this week from Outpost 14.

The 3rd Grade Tiger Squadron succeeded in launching from the Outpost with minimal damage to the Voyager.

This was the Tiger's celebratory photo.
Third graders are a joy to fly

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


We Celebrate Ari, A Life Gone too Soon.


     These posts are always the most difficult to write.  We lost a member of our of Space EdVentures family last week.  Ari Cole was a Magellan supervisor at the Christa McAuliffe Space Center and a former member of the Voyager Club during the time we did our Long Duration Missions at the CMSEC.   
     Ari was the quiet one in the room.  Watching, listening, and jumping in when she felt there was something to say.  She had a great love of the Space Center and its mission. She started as a camper and flew on a mission or two with me on the Voyager.  From there she made the transition into the Voyager Club and then volunteering, wanting to help others find the inspiration she had found.  Many of her co-workers at the Center attended her funeral. Connor Larsen, her immediate supervisor and Magellan Set Director, played the organ at the service

Ari getting her Blues at the CMSC Honor's Night

     There was a sadness about Ari that spoke of difficulties and trials. Today those are past as she finds love and peace in the arms of her Savior.  May we all strive to love and cherish all our brothers and sisters whom God has placed in our paths, for I believe we are His eyes, His hands, His ears, and His voice in the world.  Let His love radiate from you to all those He has led to you. And when that day comes when there are no more tears, then we shall all understand that love, charity, kindness, and our time were the greatest gifts we could have given to each other just as Ari gave them so freely to those in her life. 
     Ari's life reminds me that our Centers, for some, are the safe havens from the storms they battle on a day to day basis. I didn't understand that when I founded the Space Center 28 years ago, but have come to realize it over the years. We are a community of like minded individuals who have found a common passion.  May we continue to see that in each other and embrace each other like family in tribute to Ari and her example.  
     And with that - I say "Aloha" to one of God's precious angels. May she find peace and joy sailing the solar winds through the universe which so captivated her imagination. 


The Testimony Ari Left Behind 
Taken from her "Why I Am A Mormon" page.

I love to write and draw, as well as learn about odd facts. Both of my older siblings are out on missions. I hope to one day be a published author, and have people enjoy my work. I'm a fan of capybaras, hedgehogs, guinea pigs, and space centers. I love to make people smile and laugh, and folding origami.

I was born into the church. I am the youngest of three kids. My mother's father was not a member of the church when he married my grandmother (he was Catholic), but he eventually agreed to meet with the missionaries and the rest is history. My father's mother was Methodist, and his father was an inactive member of the LDS church. The missionaries reached out to them and they felt it was right for them. My father tried to be a good example to the kids in his upstate New York neighborhood. I continue to follow the Gospel because I know the standards set truly make us happy and don't burden our minds with things that might make us temporally happy, but not in the long-run. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet, and that the current prophet, Thomas S. Monson, leads the church today. I testify of these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Is Texas the Next Stop for InfiniD Learning? The Good News of Simulator Based Experiential Education Spreads. Farpoint and Thorium Open the Door to a New Generation of Multi-Center Employees and Programs. Imaginarium Theater

Texas Students in Dallas and Ft. Worth Experience InfiniD.
The Good News of Simulator Centered Experiential Learning Spreads into the Lone Star State

     Casey Voeks, the greatest missionary in the history of Space EdVenturing, took the good news of simulator centered experiential learning to Texas this last weekend.  Danny Harding, InfiniD's chief technology officer, accompanied him to schools in the Dallas and Ft. Worth area.  Danny moved to Texas earlier in the year and lives in north Dallas. He leads the effort to assimilate schools in his new home state to the InfiniD Collective.  Resistance is futile.

Students in this Texas school are preparing to launch
     Setting up an InfiniD Lab can almost be classified as 'child's play' thanks to InfiniD's new simulator software.  The control software is browser based.  Students sit down, log into the website, access their controls and wait for the teacher's "Go!".  The teacher, with minimal training, controls the experience from the flight control computer. Teachers may include curriculum points and questions directly into the software before the mission begins. The questions pop up at critical points in the story.  Students answer the questions to advance forward.  Teachers monitor the class.  It is nearly that easy.  Contact the InfinD team you haven't experienced an InfiniD Lab and are interested in arranging a demonstration for your school:

The Texas / Kansas Stage coming in to change horses.
Casey will catch the stage to Kansas before boarding a train to Utah

     "I see the stage a'comin," Casey's said in his last update. He is anxious to start the long trek back to Utah and into to the loving arms of his wife and family.  
     "I leave behind scores of enthusiastic students and teachers. The seeds are planted and ready to take root. Texas is ready for our message.
     And with those words I lost contact with him somewhere on the dry plains of the Lone Star State. Safe travels Casey.  

InfiniD Learning Pilots a New Program for Utah's Deaf and Blind Students 

     InfiniD Learning will be providing accessibility to its program for deaf and blind students this school year.  A new pilot program is underway at the new Utah State School of the Deaf and Blind in Salt Lake City.

Farpoint and Thorium Open the Door to a New Generation of Multi-Center Flight Directors and Supervisors.  Meet a Few of the Best.

Spencer Baird, a level 1 congregant in the Mystic Order of Flight Directors and a Supervisor at the Space Academy, achieved the rank Supervisor Level II by becoming a supervisor at the Discovery Space Center.
Sydney and Maeson Congratulating Spencer on his Level II Status
     Uniformity in training and standardization of software and universe is opening the door to a new generation of flight directors and supervisors.  The Christa McAuliffe Space Center, Renaissance Space Academy, Discovery Space Center, Telos Discovery Space Center, and Lions Gate Center all use Thorium, Alex Anderson's new software for Space EdVenturing simulators.  In addition to the software, the Space Academy, Discovery Space Center and Telos Discovery Space Center operate in the Farpoint Universe, adding another level of standardization in missions and staff training. 

Spencer at the Everest's Flight Director Station

     Spencer Baird is an example of a multi-center employee.  He is a Level II Supervisor and currently is training to become a Level II Flight Director having recently been inducted into the Mystic Order of Flight Directors last weekend at Renaissance Space Academy in Lehi.
     Last night Spencer did another of his required flight director certification flights at the Canyon Grove Discovery Space Center.  Dylan Hunter, a fellow Level II Supervisor, worked as his IIFX Wingman. Maeson Busk watched intently as Spencer took the crew through their paces.  Getting a Level II pass is a serious business.  You need to be good, really good. 

Space Academy Volunteers Riley, Gavin, and Keegan along with Voyager Club Members Elayna, Harmony
Tyler, Loa, and Caleb came together to support Spencer as his crew. They work with Spencer at the Academy and wanted to be sure he got a good crew for the certification mission. 
     Discovery Space Center at Canyon Grove runs an outstanding Supervisor and Flight Director training school.  Their graduates are some of the best in the business. The Space Academy has arranged for our staff trainees to enroll in the the DSC's training program.  Over time, all graduates of this new Staff Academy will be automatically hired at both centers. 
     A joint training program is another example of how standardization in software and universe leads to volunteer and employment opportunities.  While centers will still have their own 'way of doing things' in many areas, most of these will be cosmetic and easily learned by a graduate of the Academy.      
Meet Dylan Hunter, a New Level Two Supervisor

Sydney and Maeson Welcome Dylan as a New Supervisor at the DSC at Canyon Grove Academy.

     Dylan Hunter is a new Level II Supervisor working as a Supervisor at both the Space Academy and, as of this weekend, a Supervisor at the Discovery Space Center at Canyon Grove.  Dylan's goal is to become a Level III Supervisor. He did his first observation as a new volunteer at the Christa McAuliffe Space Center in Pleasant Grove.  
     Dylan is an outstanding Space Academy Supervisor and one of my former sixth graders.  I guarantee he knows his math.  Maeson and Sydney both report the same from the DSC.  Congratulations Dylan and good luck at the CMSC.

Meet Jensen Caldwell, a New Level III Supervisor and Level I Flight Director

Jensen running a private mission last Saturday on the TDSC Hyperion

     Jensen is another product of standardization in software, training, and universe.  Jensen started his journey to celebrity by becoming a Supervisor at Renaissance Space Academy.  Over the summer, Jensen was inducted into the Mystic Order of Flight Directors as a Level I Flight Director and Supervisor.  His appointment came from Dr. Ryan Anderson at the Telos Discovery Space Center in Orem. 
     Last month Jensen reached the rank Supervisor Level III by accepting a job at the Lions Gate Center at Lakeridge.  Nathan and Parriss both report he is doing well.  
     Jensen isn't finished. "I'm going for the rank of Level III Flight Diretor," Jensen said recently.  With his Level I at the TDSC secure, Jensen is very close to his Level II at the Space Academy and his Level III at the Lions Gate Center.  
     Jensen divides his time between all three centers. It's a careful balancing act which requires advance scheduling. The advantage is plenty of work. Jensen never worries about getting enough hours.    
     Congratulations Jensen.

Middle School Space Tech, Another Example of Multi-Center Collaboration

Space Tech Class at the Space Academy
      The Lions Gate Center at Lakeridge Academy and the Renaissance Space Academy both offer SpaceTech classes for their middle school students.  Space Tech is another example of collaboration between Space EdVenture Centers. 

The DSC's Sydney Brown teaching Thorium basics to a young volunteer
     With a common operating system in Thorium and common universe, Utah's Space EdVenturing Centers find opportunity in cooperation, collaboration, and staff training which benefits administration, staff, and volunteers. 
     The Christa McAuliffe Space Center was my gift to the children of Utah. Over the last 28 years, hundreds of dedicated people have joined me in this endeavor.  From its solid foundation, multiple experiential learning programs have arisen making simulator based experiential education available to thousands of students who wouldn't have had the opportunity to visit the CMSC. 
     Working together, the Space EdVenturing community moves forward to enrich the education of today's children and the generations to come. 


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