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

Sunday, April 28, 2019

The Space Academy Starts a New Flight Director Training Program. The Christa McAuliffe Space Center Releases Total Volunteer Hours. From the Historical Archives Photos and the Space Center Journal from April 2003. Imaginarium Theater

Flight Director Training Starts Early at the Space Academy Thanks to InfiniD Learning

Tabitha, the first Space Academy student to direct an InfiniD mission from the Voyager's Flight Station.

     Renaissance Academy (RA) students have opportunities unavailable to students anywhere else in Utah through the school's Space Academy. Training to become a supervisor and flight director in the world class Starship Voyager simulator is an example of one of those unique opportunities. 
     This past week the Academy began a new InfiniD Flight Director training program offered to RA's middle school Space Tech and Voyager Club graduates.  InfiniD Learning provides experiential simulation software and missions to schools worldwide.  InfiniD's software is designed to be almost "plug and play" thus making simulator centered experiential learning available to the masses and not just to those students who attend schools with Space EdVenture simulators (brick and mortar) like the Space EdVenture Centers in Utah County. 
     Bracken Funk is the Space Academy's Director of Operations.  Directing InfiniD missions for RA's nearly 900 students is one of Bracken's responsibilities.  After watching one of the school's InfiniD missions, I realized that a competent, well trained, 8th grader could do the job of flight directing an InfiniD mission under Bracken's supervision.  The software is well designed to the task.
     Students who excel as InfiniD Flight Directors would naturally progress through the Academy's training program to become both supervisors and flight directors for the Academy's Young Astronauts / Voyager Club Long Duration Missions and from there springboard into directing private missions and camps. 
     The Space Academy at Renaissance continues to find ways to provide unique STEAM enriched space themed education for hundreds of students every day through the Young Astronauts Club, the Voyager Club, Space Tech, the Space Academy Leadership Training Program, and now the Junior Flight Director Program.  For more information on Renaissance Academy and the its programs visit the school's website  
For more information on the Space Academy including private missions and summer camps on the Starship Voyager visit the Academy's website

Mr. Williamson

Volunteer Hours Tally. Christa McAuliffe Space Center
Our volunteers are great and we can't say it enough!
Just did some fun tallies as we are combining our current records with older archives that started in the late 90's. Here are two fun facts:
1990-Present = 465 Volunteers/Staff

197,602 hours of RECORDED service
Many of the hours donated live on only in the cherished experiences of our patrons and volunteers. Thanks again to all who have donated over the years.

James Porter

From the Archives.  The History of the Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center. Space Center Journal

June 2008.  Mr. Williamson starting another overnight camp with the usual speech including the
Happy Bucket monolog

The Idaho Group Comes Down for their Yearly Overnight Camp. The kids were amazing. One dad insisted his kid's state test be regraded. Clark Planetarium just opened - a report on my first visit.  Several staff and volunteers are graduating from college and high school. 

Today's Post is from April 20, 2003

Hello Troops,
I'm hoping everyone is enjoying his or her Easter vacation. I had plans to get several things done over the break but have yet to sit down and get serious about that list. I've enjoyed staying in bed until the unheard of time of 7:00 A.M. Instead of getting right up and heading to the gym for my usual 6 miles on the treadmill I have chosen one or two hours of TV instead. BBC America's Ground Force is current on my list of favorites

The campers politely listening. They really just want to get into the ships
June 2008

We did our usual Spring Break Wednesday evening overnight mission last week. Heber Barzee and his kids from Idaho came down by bus. All day long I kept thinking it was Friday. The rest of the staff felt the same way.  Central's teachers were seen smiling all day long - a sure indication that a vacation was hours away. The numbers were a bit short so I decided to close the Falcon

Always happy faces when coming to Space Center overnight camps.

I ordered 13 pizzas from Little Caesars. Feeding the groups from Idaho is a tradition. It is the least we can do considering their drive was over five hours long. Bill Schuler picked up the pizzas and arranged the cafeteria. The bus arrived on time. Kendal Duclos escorted them all to the gym to drop off their belongings. Their next stop was the Briefing Room for their rank certificates. Supper was next on the agenda. I was a bit leery of the group. They looked tired and several were fourteen years old. Older groups can be a handful. I thought I'd have to keep a close watch. My attitude changed as I supervised them in the cafeteria during supper. They were quiet and extremely well behaved. I thought the reason for their model behavior was the fact that their chaperones were standing right there with me. Once they left I thought things would be different. I was wrong and very happy. The kids were great!

The nine oldest of the group chose the Voyager for Greenpeace. Any doubts they wouldn't take this seriously evaporated minutes into the briefing. The attention was fixed on every word coming out of my mouth. After the briefing they asked intelligent questions. Bryson Lystrup took them for loading while I prepared the new rank certificates for the entire camp. After training, both Brady Young and Bryson commented on how "awesome" this crew was. 

By the end of the camp I was heard telling Julie Collette that I'd work for free if all my groups were as good as that group from Idaho! I enjoyed every minute of that mission with them. Similar comments were heard from the Odyssey and Galileo staff. Julie was even more vocal than I on the outstanding performance of her crew. Mark Daymont and the Magellan
staff had the youngest of the campers
. They weren't impressed or `depressed' by their crew. They ranked them average. We later learned that the 34 kids were chosen because of their outstanding performance on the Idaho State Test. You just don't pay and come with this group. You must earn your spot on the bus and the kids' work hard to get it. Heber told me that one dad called him demanding that his son's test be regraded. He told Heber that his son had to have the opportunity to come to the Space Center. It was something he had
dreamt of all year and couldn't be stopped because of one test. 

Once again I amazed at what some kids will do to come here and participate in this unique learning environment we have created.  Sometimes we get tired and feel we can't muster the enthusiasm to give another mission, lesson, or briefing our best. Right then we need to step back and remember what coming here means to most kids. The teachers always tell us how EXCITED the kids are when they arrive. Kids will talk about the field trip long afterwards as well. Not many field trips have that kind of effect on kids. We do because
of you! I know that and I hope you do as well. I can't do this alone and I count on each one of you for support, time, and dedication. Take pride in being a volunteer or staff of the Center. This is just one awesome place and it will get better as we work together on new ideas and innovations. 

The crew of the Odyssey trained and ready for warp speed
June 2008

Talk about awesome places I want to take a minute and tell you about the Clark Planetarium. I went up on Saturday afternoon to see the IMAX movie and star show. This was my first time there. The lines for tickets stretched out the door and down the block. The
planetarium opened on April 11. The community's welcome has been overwhelming. The Imax film "Space Station" was brilliant. After the movie we went into the Star Theater for "The Ultimate Universe". David Merrell works in the Star Theater and ran that show. He did an excellent job working with the audience and making everyone feel welcome. The show was fantastic with awesome visual effects created by Clark's own people.  After the show David took us on a `behind the scenes tour' of the theater and the large computer that powers everything. 

Learning to do the paperwork on the Starship Magellan
June 2008

I encourage all of you to get up to the Clark Planetarium before the IMAX movie "Space Station" leaves. Take in a movie and a star show. There is also a nice display area and very large gift shop. Give yourselves a good three hours for the trip. Both David Merrell and
Jennifer Remy work there so you may bump into one of them while you are there. 

Wear your Space Center T-Shirt if you go up. A little publicity never hurts and that is the place where space enthusiasts hang out. 

A gentle reminder to our set and flight directors that your summer stories need to be in high gear and on the front burner. I've arranged times in May for all the simulators to tell their stories for a dress rehearsal. Get going on it now. 

There is good news from another of our volunteers. Jamie Catlett is graduating from UVSC this month with a degree in elementary education. Congratulations Jamie on a job well done. I'm also aware of some high school graduations coming up next month - Julie Collette, Alex Debirk, and AJ Birrell. Some of our old staff will also be graduating in May – Ryan Davis, Shane Skaggs, and Corbin Simmons. Exact dates of each graduation will be posted later. If I've missed anyone please let me know. 

Well, that is about it. Thank you again troops and keep up the good work.

Mr. Williamson

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

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