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

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Training the World's First Multi Planet Space Faring Generation - the Space Academy's Young Astronauts. Jake Hadfield Returns from an LDS Mission, His Reactivation Clause is Enforced. See Matt Long's USS Glory, the Best Home Simulator Ever Build from the Early 2000's

The Space Academy's 6th Grade Phoenix Young Astronaut Squadron

     Collaboration, teamwork, leadership skills, academics, and FUN are all a part of the Space Academy's Young Astronaut and Voyager Club programs at Renaissance Academy.  The good old cup stacking activity is a great one for teaching the importance of effective communication to accomplish a seemingly simple task.  Mission: Stack six cups using only a rubber band with four attached strings.  Easier said than done. 
     The 6th grade Phoenix squadron, one of 19 squadrons at Renaissance, tacked the challenge last week. The team of David, Kaden, Marcus and Lincoln took top honors. To be fair it should be pointed out that one of the other team's strings broke part way. I explained that things like that happen in real life and told them to get on with it.  Isn't life like that? Just when you think life is going your way, just when you think all your ducks are in a row, POP! there goes one of your support stings and you're left lurching about. Getting up, dusting yourself off, and dealing with the problems at hand is how you succeed where others fail.
A mighty find looking stack of cups if you ask me
     Another way we teach our Young Astronauts and Voyagers the importance of leadership is by giving them opportunities to lead.  The Space Academy Leadership Training (SALT) program directed by Mr. Vidinha gives our students those opportunities.  In their first SALT training, our students take a survey to find out their own personal leadership style.  Mr. Vidinha, a former US Army Major, takes the squad outside for their first lessons in both giving and taking orders.

Beginning Leadership Training 101.  Leading a squadron in drills. Alex is giving it a go.
It's Kaden's turn.  We're looking for clear and exact orders. 

     Military cadence is another tool to make following orders fun.  Mr. Vidinha had the Phoenix squadron outside his classroom reciting cadence while marching.  Cadence is one way to get kids to think. You tell them it will be their turn soon and to think of their own rhythms.  

We are Phoenix, We're the Best,
We are better than the Rest.
While the others break and Run,
We're the ones who're having Fun.
Sound Off, One Two,
Sound Off, Thee Four.

The Phoenix Squadron and Cadence marching in the hallway
     SALT training is essential for successful missions in the Starship Voyager.  We teach these skills in the Academy's classrooms and expect to see the learning transfer into the Voyager simulator to be used in the Long Duration Missions.  This method of combining classroom and simulator training has proven to be the best educational use of starship simulators. The cadets get both the practical and on the job training out in the cosmos. This is experiential education at its best. This is why you have starship simulators in your school.

The 6th Grade Tiger Squadron on the Bridge of the Starship Voyager. Renaissance Space Academy.

     Renaissance Academy in Lehi is the only school in the world using the Young Astronauts and Voyager SALT training program. We are pioneering this form of experiential education. You're welcome to join us.  Renaissance Academy enrolls students year round (as long as there are openings in your grade level). It is a free public charter school 
(K-8) which sits across the Timp Highway from IM Flash.  Renaissance also specializes in languages. Student may choose between Chinese immersion, Spanish, or Arabic. Visit the school's website to learn more:  To learn more about Young Astronauts or the Voyager Club visit: or  To contact me email:

Mr. Williamson  

Meet the Young Astronauts

     Introducing the Space Academy's 3rd Grade  Young Astronaut Tiger Squadron.  Who knows, any one of them could end up living on Mars one day.  We dream big at the Space Academy.  
     Here they are on the Starship Voyager getting ready to embark on a dangerous mission to explore the arrival of an alien spacecraft and in addition, solve a perplexing mystery.

The 3rd Grade Lion Squadron

This is their interpretation of "Let's have a fun picture".

Jake Hadfield Returns from His LDS Mission Only to Have His Reactivation Clause Enforced

Jake once again wearing his Supervisor Blues on the Bridge of the Magellan
     Jake Hadfield was always one of those quiet guys that got the job done and done right.  Ever since he was a young volunteer getting him to speak was the challenge.  
     He is proof positive that quiet people can succeed at the many space centers.  Usually it's the loud ones who've fallen in love with their own voices who are attracted to this kind of work.  I should know, right?

Jake as a young volunteer before being promoted to dizzying heights.  

     Jake recently return from his mission only to find Mr. James Porter at his doorstep with a balloon in one hand and his original employment contract with the reactivation clause highlighted in yellow in the other. Jake accepted his fate and was back in the Magellan the next day, or the day after, or maybe a few days afterwards.  I should get all the facts before I write a post....   
     Jake is is very popular with the Space Center staff. You'll find his picture in every simulator.  How do you figure that? I'm the founder of the place and you'd be hard pressed to find a photo of me anywhere. What has Jake got that I haven't?  Don't answer that. I learned a long time ago NOT to ask questions when you don't really want to know the answer.  
     Jake, so happy to have you back with us in your Supervisor Blues.  Soon you'll be a flight director then you'll really have to talk. 

Mr. Williamson   
From the Historical Archives.  The LongTrek Space Center Opens with the USS Glory, the Newest Ship in the Fleet 

The USS Glory Bridge at Matt Long's LongTrek Space Center

From the Space Center's Historical Archives
February 4, 2003

Hello Troops,
I haven't have a chance to write about my visit to the USS Glory, one of our sister simulators. The Glory was built by Matt Long in his basement right off his family room. The control room takes up a part of his bedroom.

Matt had an Open House a few weeks ago. His house was a bit of a challenge to find, especially in the dark. The Open House started at 7:00 P.M. I arrived just after 7:00. I'm glad I arrived early because the place filled up very quickly. Matt was going from person to person answering questions and doing demonstrations. 

Matt has done a fantastic job building the Glory! It looks fantastic. He has some ideas I would like to implement for the Voyager and our other ships. 

The Glory can hold 5 or 6 people. It also has a little engineering section. Matt is one step ahead of us in visuals. He has introduced DVD's into operation instead of the VCR. His pauses are crystal clear and will not unpause at the worst time during the mission. 

I'm amazed at what he has done. A ship of his own and all his own props. He is currently putting together a better selection of costumes then we have! 

Good Job Matt! 

I've asked Matt to demo the Glory to any of our Pioneers, Voyagers, and Rangers that would like to take her for a test drive. I'm also willing to give class hours for the visit if Matt throws in a 30 minute presentation on the story of the Glory after the mission. The 
presentation will cover how it was built and how it is run. I know some of you have tried to build you own ships or may be in the first stages of designing one. Look for more information on this class opportunity in the next couple of days.

Thanks Troops,
Mr. Williamson

Imaginarium Theater
The Best Gifs From Around the World Edited for a Gentler Audience

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