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

Monday, December 17, 2018

The Alpine School District Announces the Construction of a New Christa McAuliffe Space Center and Planetarium. The Space Center Receives a $1,000,000 Grant from Edward St. John Foundation. Floorplans Released for the New Simulators.

The New Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center
Opens in August 2020

     I sat in the audience, proud as could be to see the program I founded 28 years ago take a major leap forward. Today was the day the Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center / now the Christa McAuliffe Space Center stepped into the light as a true Alpine School District facility.  Today the Space Center went from being Central Elementary's Space Center to the Alpine District Space Center which happens to be located at Central School. It has taken 28 years to achieve this recognition and the work of hundreds, but we are there my friends - we are there. The Space Center has been institutionalized. There will always be a Space Center as long as there is an Alpine School District.   
     Today the Alpine School District announced the construction of a new Space Center and planetarium. And with that announcement came a major fundraising announcement. The Edward St. John Foundation donated $1,000,000 to help build the new Christa McAuliffe Space Center as part of Central Elementary School scheduled rebuild which will begin this spring.  

                      Vicki Carter                                    Rob Smith                                  Mark Clement   

                                         Ryan Wells                                      James Porter

     A special Space Center community thank you goes to Space Center Director James Porter and Ryan Wells, Principal of Central Elementary School, for envisioning a new Space Center with a state of the art planetarium and working tirelessly to make it a reality. A thank you to Alpine District K-6 Administrator Vicki Carter for her work at the District level.  We want to thank Alpine District Assistant Superintendent Rob Smith. Rob made this event possible by working tirelessly to connect with local and national businesses in search of funding.  We also want to thank Mark Clement who represents Pleasant Grove on the Alpine School District Board of Education for his work on the Board level. We have all come together as a community in a grass roots project to make the new Christa McAuliffe Space Center a reality.

The Simulator Floorplan. Lower Level:  Five Simulators, Two Briefing Rooms, Staff Room,
Media, Storage, Restrooms
Upper Level:  72 seat Planetarium, Space Center Office, Entrance Lobby.

     Alpine School District Superintendent Sam Jarman along with the students of Central Elementary accepted the donation for the school district from Daniel Thomas, the regional manager of St. John Properties from which the foundation originates from. Edward St. John Properties is developing more than 600,000 sq. ft. of retail, flex/R&D and office space at Valley Grove in Pleasant Grove right off the Pleasant Grove exit from I-15.  
     The new Space Center will be a two story complex featuring a state of the art planetarium and starship simulators.  The upper level includes the lobby and planetarium, while the lower level contains the new simulators and additional facilities.  Alpine School District is excited to support the construction of this cherished program within the community and to see local support from organizations like St John as we literally build a better future.  To learn more about how you can have your donation matched visit:
     Now, let's get together and help raise the rest of the money needed.  Who do you know? Does your company give to local projects?  Are there arms you can twist, favors you can call in, mayonnaise jars full of coins you can redeem at the local CoinStar machine?  Mr. Porter waits by his phone for your call.  801.785.8713
     Be sure to bookmark this blog for regular updates on the new center, and all the many space centers and simulators which are a part of our SpaceEdVentures family. 

Happy Holidays,

Victor Williamson 

The Presentation in Pictures

The upper elementary aged students were invited into Central Elementary's gym for the
presentation. Principal Ryan Wells welcomed everyone to the event. 

Lorraine, Doug, Jon, and I sat together to enjoy the festivities.  Lorraine and Doug handle curriculum
and field trip lessons. Jon is the Space Center's Asst. Director and in charge of simulations.

Alpine School District Superintendent Sam Jarvis spoke briefly about the need for school - business
partnerships. He then introduced Daniel Thomas from Edward St. John Properties for the donation presentation.

Daniel Thomas from Edward St. John Properties spoke to the kids. 

A rocket holding the donation amount covered in yellow strips was presented

Central students were invited to come up and rip one strip off at a time, slowly revealing the
donation amount. The kids were in a frenzy by the time they reached the $1,000,000 amount.

One Million Dollars!

Central Students were invited to join the VIP's for a group photo. The group included Alpine
District Board members, District Officials, Alpine Foundation officials, Edward St. Johns employees
Principal Wells and Space Center Director James Porter all come together to celebrate the new Space Center! 

I gathered the Space Center staff together after the event to get a photo of them holding the plans for the
new Christa McAuliffe Space Center.

After the event reporters filmed in the simulators and interviewed Mr. Porter. I got to sit in the Magellan
captain's chair and played captain. My bit will most likely end up on the cutting room floor :)

All the VIP's gone. The staff relaxed in the Magellan. 

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