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

Sunday, May 19, 2019

From the Archives: Pictures from Space Center History and the Journal from April 28, 2003. Outstanding Space Academy Young Astronauts Survive the Supernova. Construction Update. Our Universe - The Big Rip Explained. Imaginarium Theater.

From the Archives:  The Space Center Journal
April 28, 2003.  Field Trip Schools. Report on the Overnight Camp. Repeat Campers are a Pain.  Spotlight on Outstanding Staff. Simulator Updates. Staff News.

The Magellan Admiral from a summer EdVenture 3 Day Camp. June 2008

Hello Troops,
A fine, cool, cloudy Sunday. I'm sitting here in my living room writing the weekly (or almost weekly) Space Center Journal. My diet Mountain Dew on my left and IBook on my lap. 

It has been a very busy week for all of us. We came back from Spring Break rested and ready to see the rest of the school year through. I spent most of Monday sending out the final curriculum materials to our May schools and getting the call for volunteers prepared.

The crew of the Magellan.  Summer Overnight Camps. June 2008


This week the Center was visited by Jordan Ridge, South Jordan, and Rocky Mountain Elementary Schools. The Jordan District kids were terrific. The Rocky Mountain kids were a bit of a challenge. Their lead teacher warned me that this was the very "busy" fifth grades they warned me about earlier. The term `busy' was to conjure the image of a class that is intelligent by all measures but very, very noisy. The sort of class where every student has something to say about everything all the time. We are familiar with this phenomena from the District's gifted classes. The teacher was right - they were `busy' ! 

Jeremy Ranch Elementary School from Park City occupied our Voyager, Odyssey, Galileo after school slots this last week. All great kids and very enjoyable. 

A Few of our Park City Regulars.  Summer EdVenture Camp June 2008. 
They're enjoying their frozen treats before bedtime so it must be around 10:45 P.M.


This last overnight camp was a mixed group of students from Aspen Elementary in Orem, Park City kids, and four students from Alta Wyoming. I had the kids 
from Wyoming in the Voyager. Sharp is a good word to describe them. All of the flight directors agree on this statement; we love missions crewed by kids between the ages of 12 and 14 that have never been to the Center before. The kids that have to sacrifice 
something to get here are the very best, the cream of the crop. Some of the hardest crews are those made up of high ranking, multiple repeat campers. The repeat campers sometimes have the attitude of "I know the tricks and I won't fall for them this time". They become very critical of the missions and the sets. It's like riding the same ride at 
Disneyland over and over again. Pretty soon the magic of the ride diminishes and you begin looking for how the ride is put together and what makes it run. You also find yourself looking for defects and errors perhaps overlooked on earlier visits. 

New, older crews are in the awe stage. They've never seen or experienced anything like this before and it blows them away. They are amazed at the set and comment repeatedly on how much it all must of cost. They are so easily drawn into the story and tend to `play along' with us. They are so happy to be here. 

Perhaps the answer for older, advanced crews is to give them more of a challenge. I've thought about creating special missions for advanced officers that would start at the normal time on a Friday and go longer into Saturday afternoon. I would lower the number of students on the bridge from 10 to 5! We would feed them in the simulator and give 
them opportunities for relaxation. We would equip the lounge with a Nintendo and other things. This ultimate camp would cost $50.00 per person. They would get the most challenging experience of their lives. What are your thoughts, suggestions, and comments? 

Bedtime Treats. June 2008

Randy Jepperson, Tanner Edwards, Brady Young, and Bryson Lystrup.

I want to spotlight some people on our staff this week in the Journal. Randy Jepperson, Tanner Edwards, Brady Young, and Bryson Lystrup: These outstanding young people are examples for all to follow at the Center. I see them all arrive early for their missions (except Randy who does like to arrive a bit late but once he's here you get 200%). These kids amaze me and make me proud to have them on our staff. They not only do what they are asked but go well beyond what's required and look for ways to improve their simulators. 

It's up and at'em for breakfast on the second day of the 3 day EdVenture Camp. June 2008

They aren't flight directors or set directors but act the part in their concern and pride they take in their ships. Brady and Bryson created their own hoodies as a way of generating staff morale. Randy and Tanner (not to forget Ben), have their own knitted caps and Magellan hand signals and signs. They are the right hand staff of their Flight Directors. The missions 
run smoothly because they are on board. Their happy and enthusiastic attitude is contagious and they elevate the mood of the staff they work with. It's just fun to listen and watch them as they talk about their sets and tease each other. Staff morale is high thanks to the example set by these Rangers. There are others, but today I want to highlight them. There isn't anyone that wouldn't agree with me that they need spotlighted. Thanks Randy, Bryson, Brady, and Tanner for all you do. You are spotlighted and please take a bow. 

Be ready - the spotlight is out searching for next week's highlighted staff and volunteers. 

The stage mats were always great set pieces for the gym away teams.


This week Matt Long was in working again on the isolinear chips There are a few bugs here and there but they'll be worked out. Get Ready to have real working Isolinear chips for the summer camps in the Voyager.

The Voyager Crew on an away team. The turning door on the stage led to the Voyager's main accessway hallway.
June 2008

Odyssey, and Magellan. 

Matt Long will also be working on new Odyssey station revisions as Chris Call and Landon Hemsley work to improve the quality of the Odyssey. Look for developments soon. 

Allan Stewart came by on Thursday and spent the day at the Center. He just finished his finals at BYU. He reminded me that he hasn't retired yet and accepted Chris's request to do a few things for Chris and Landon's new summer story. We are all under the gun to get everything ready for the trail runs of our missions in May. Allan is very busy working full time this summer so we won't see much of him but I want to thank him for the giving us the time he can. 

Can't get away from the Orion Pirates fast enough. June 2008

Simulator Reports:  The Magellan

The crew for this weekend's flight was older than most of our crews, and with more experienced campers our staff knew we were in for a struggle. Of course, the Magellan staff of Bad Boy Orion's under the leadership of that infamous Phillip Q. Nimbly (our main bad guy, who used to just be a second story distraction), felt sure that they could overwhelm this crew. However, as I predicted, this crew had members who were what I call "Chargers and Cheaters"You know, the kids who defy all phaser fire, call-downs from Bridge and
doctor staff, who "miraculously" survive phaser fire from 7 Orions and leap down the hall another 200 yards...

Sarah Glad on the Voyager's Bridge. June 2008

The visiting crew took up the challenge of trying their best against our most experienced staff (Rio Downs,Randy Jepperson,Tanner Edwards ,Ben Hogland ,and Charlie Heaton) and a "Mother of all battles" it was. I thought our guys could hold though, but the only thing we managed to hold was the schedule... which is what it's all about. We had great reviews, even though I had to "chastise" the crew a wee bit about overacting and not following
staff instructions. The kids loved it and the staff was pretty happy about the way it went by the end. Unfortunately, that Phillip Q. character seems to be getting a bit uppity with his Orion leader, Cooter, so there may be an accidental marooning in the near future...

Thanks to all the staff who kept the crew busy and having fun.

Mr. Daymont

The Voyager Engineer. Summer Camps June 2008


The crew this weekend was pretty slow. They had barely left space dock at 10:00 pm.  Later Friday night, the captain got a really bad headache and had to leave the bridge for about 20 minutes. With a lot of help and some  slight modifications to the mission, the crew made it through to the end on Saturday.

Stacy Carroll 

The Voyager's Right Wing Stations:  Sensors, Scanners, Right Wing Helm, Right Wing Power, and Engineering

Staff News:

Ryan Davis, one of our old timers, was hit by a 90 mph fast ball while up to bat on Friday.
He is a senior this year and on the PG High School's Varsity Baseball Team. His hand is broken and in a cast. He can't play center field or bat but will continue with the team as a base runner. He is working hard to get a baseball scholarship. 

The campers taking a small break from the action

Nate Bullock is getting married. He returned from a mission to Moscow, Russia two years ago. I'll pass along further information as I get it. 

Bryson Lystrup will be in Mountain Ridge's production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Coat. More information coming soon on date and times. 

Saint Sheila Powell explaining what the campers will be doing in the summer space / science classroom rotation.

Bill Schuler
 recently purchased a new home in Pleasant Grove. He says moving out of the Thornberry Apartments will be a dream come true. I guess some new move ins above his apartment play their music too loud. Punk Rockers for sure. 

Chris Call and Rio Downs have finished their end of term exams and are feeling the blessed relief of having finished a university school year. Us old timers that went to university know the feeling of finishing your last final at the end of a term. It is a time to celebrate. 

The summer camps drew between 44 and 60 campers per camp with the campers divided between the
 simulators and the classroom sessions.

Kyle Herring is preparing the Space Center's first internet Radio Talk Show to be hosted over our web site. The first 30 minute show will feature me. Wow, what a surprise. More information coming soon. 

Aleta Clegg brought her new baby to the Center to show her off on Friday. She had her dressed in a little mini Star Trek uniform. She is a doll. Both mother and daughter are doing fine. 

A group of campers waiting to be assigned a simulator

Gary Nuilia, another member of our old time staff, has returned from his mission to Uruguay. He looks just fine and came by at the beginning of the overnight mission to drop his little brother off. He was in a hurry so we didn't get to talk too long - he had his first post mission date waiting for him in the car. He did say he was happy to be back and had a wonderful time on his mission. He is preparing to head back to school and get a law degree. He is also getting a private pilot's license. Flying is in his blood - his dad is a 747 pilot for United Airlines. His little 5th grade brother has been hounding me for a year to get on staff. I told him as soon as he started 6th grade we would be ready to have another Nuilia on board. 

Have a Great Week
Mr. Williamson

Three More Space Academy Young Astronaut Squadrons Complete their Eight Month Long Duration Mission on the Starship Voyager 

     The 6th Grade Tiger Squadron took the gold medal in the 6th grade division and on Saturday embarked on their victory flight aboard the Voyager.  Jackson commanded the expedition. With him were Porter, Isaac, Savannah, Mark, Audrey, Ammon, Quinton, and Paige.  Congratulations 6th Tigers for a job well done this year.  

       The 5th Grade Phoenix Squadron successfully completed their dangerous eight month mission to the star Beetlejuice with only a few scrapes and bumps to show for it.  Their final mission of the year was commanded by captain extraordinaire Caleb.  The team was remarkable in performance and in the handling of the Starship Voyager in an extreme situation.  Members of the squadron are:  Caleb, Dane, Gavin, Bryson, Ethan, Kaylee, Korver, Sawyer, Sophia, Hunter, and Milo. 

     The 4th Grade Tiger Squadron finished the mission Supernova just by the hair on their chinney chin chins.  It was down to the last two seconds before they would have made a nice meal for a carnivorous black hole.  They have been a delight to fly all year.  A team full of personality and enthusiasm.  Congratulation to the 4th Tigers for a job well done this year.  Members of the squadron are:  David, Luke, Mya, Elizabeth, Ella, Enoch, Kallie, Kate, Andy, and Liam. 

     Let me introduce you to the brave and daring 4th Grade Scorpion Squadron who finished their long duration mission with flying colors under the command of Captain Jonah.  They had their work cut out for them because of their numbers.  Most squadrons have 10 or 11 members.  The 4th Scorpions flew the Starship Voyager with a skeleton crew of six for their final mission last week.  Many of the younglings had to do two jobs.  In order to survive many of them logged a mile or more in running back and forth between stations.  Congratulations Scorpions for a job well done! Members of the Scorpions are:  Rustin, David, Raya, Gabriel, Jonah, Myles, and Sophie.
Weekly Construction Update of the New Christa McAuliffe Space Center and Central Elementary School

The Playground as it was
As of Today.  The ground is level and ready for the footings

Our Universe

Watch how the universe may end by the expansion of the universe. The famous big rip theory explained.

If dark matter is real, then it is quite possible that the ultimate fate of the universe is for all things to be pushed far enough apart that even matter itself dissolves.

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

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Building a New Space Center Isn't an Easy Task, Just ask the Think Tank. Meet this Week's Young Astronauts and Voyagers who Survived the Supernova Long Duration Mission. Construction Update on the New Christa McAuliffe Space Center. Imaginarium Theater.

A Think Tank was Convened to Put the Finishing Touches on the Designs for the Christa McAuliffe Space Center's New Simulators
     Last Tuesday James Porter called a meeting of the minds to put the finishing touches on the designs for the simulators going into the new Christa McAuliffe Space Center scheduled to open in the spring of 2020.
     I attended as a member of the CMSC's Advisory Board and as one of the Minds assigned to imagineering the new "Galactica" (working name) along with the Galactica's Set Director, Jon Parker. The brainstorming session was held in the CMSC's Discovery Room.  Those present were divided into their respective simulator teams.   

     Maeson, Orion and Nathan comprised the Galileo Team.  I think Nathan is imagining the new Galileo with gigantic longhorn steer horns attached to the front. 

     Of course I could be wrong about that because I couldn't stay long enough to hear their presentation.  But just imagine the new Galileo with a set of those horns attached directly above the main viewer.  That would get people talking and set the ship apart from the rest.
Don't think James would approve though.

     The Porter brothers made up the "Jupiter" (working title) team.  The "Jupiter" will be the CMSC's largest simulator (sorry Magellan, you'll have to ride in the backseat).  James is the Space Center's director. Stephen is one of those Space Center legends from years back.  

The Odyssey team was composed of Natalie, Lindsey, and Tabitha.  Matt Ricks floated from team to team gathering intel for reasons unknown.  Rumor has it that he will be building the isolinear panels for every ship. If so, that would explain his curiosity.  Another possibility I'm leaning toward is that Matt is an unregistered operative for the Chinese secret service. 

What James wants, James gets; and James wanted Dave Wall at this meeting consulting with Connor Larsen for the new Magellan.  I'm sure it took a bit of persuasion to get Dave to come down into the valley from his home atop Draper Heights but he did it.  

Dave was one of the Space Center's first volunteers, along with his good friends Bill Schuler and Mark Daymont.  Dave designed and built the first Odyssey with his brother Steve.  Dave was the Odyssey's first flight and set director.  

Jordan, Brylee, and Lissa make up the Phoenix Imagineering Team.  They are happy the new Phoenix will be larger than the original. Their biggest problem is what to do with the extra space!  Also, will the new Phoenix have FRP wall panels?  Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available. 

James will take the ideas from the think tank to his next meeting with the architects.  

Last Week Another Six Squadrons from the Space Academy's Young Astronauts and Voyager Club Survive the Supernova and Finish the 2018-2019 Long Duration 8 Month Mission Slightly Radiated but in One Piece 

We have nearly 200 Young Astronauts and Voyagers at the Renaissance Space Academy in grades 3 - 8.  They are divided into squadrons of 8-10 cadets.  Young Astronauts and Voyagers participate in a school year long LDMs (Long Duration Missions).  The 3rd grade squadrons encountered an escaped slave who was being hunted by his owner.  The 4-8th grade squadrons ventured deep into the Cardilir Neutral Zone to launch several star probes to study a star on the verge of going supernova.  Classes in leadership, team building, and space science complemented the time spent in the Jumpship Voyager.  

All Space Academy squadrons finish their missions in May. Last week, six of the squadrons completed their missions and received their points and promotions in the Terran Space Command.  We celebrate their successes and achievements.

Congratulations to the 6th Grade Tiger Squadron commanded by Mark.  
Total Points Earned for the Year:  918.  

Monthly Top Team Awards:  4  
Monthly Second Place Awards:  1  
The Team:  Brooklyn, Jackson, Ammon, Savannah, Lalith, Porter, Paige, Quinton, Isaac, Audrey, Mark

Congratulations to the 5-8th Grade Dragon Squadron commanded by Carter.  
Total Points Earned for the Year:  816.  

Monthly Top Team Awards:  3  
Monthly Second Place Awards:  1  
The Team:  Karthikeya, Taylin, Nadia, Kyan, Carter, Lincoln, Max, Anthony, Fenix. 


Congratulations to the 5th Grade Cobra Squadron commanded by Nathan.  
Total Points Earned for the Year:  892.  

Monthly Top Team Awards:  3  
Monthly Second Place Awards:  1  
The Team:  Brie, Dallin, Juni, Grant, Jerin, Jylian, Kyla, Nathan, Ethan, Hinata.


Congratulations to the Middle School Tiger Squadron commanded by Gavin.  
Total Points Earned for the Year:  637.  

Monthly Second Place Awards:  1  
The Team:  Aiden, Sydney, Harmony, Tyler, Caleb, Maxwell, Charlee, Gaven.

Congratulations to the 6th Grade Phoenix Squadron commanded by Lincoln.  
Total Points Earned for the Year:  808.  

Monthly Second Place Awards:  1  
The Team:  Dublin, Lincoln, David, Michael, Kai, Oliver, Marcus, Kaden, and Cooper


Congratulations to the 6th Grade Lion Squadron commanded by Aiden.  
Total Points Earned for the Year:  896.  

Monthly Top Team Awards:  2  
Monthly Second Place Awards:  4  
The Team:  Ammon, Canyon, Charles, Jadon, Stephen, Sebastian, Daniel, Aiden, Kaden, and Myles. 
Weekly Construction Update
The New Christa McAuliffe Space Center and Central Elementary School

Pre Construction Photo
The playground as we all remember it.  The new school and space center will occupy the right (north) playground.

Construction continues at full speed on the new Christa McAuliffe Space Center and Central Elementary School in Pleasant Grove with an opening date set for April 2020.  

Construction Continues on the new Central Elementary School and Christa McAuliffe Space Center.  The hole is deeper as they prepare to put in the foundation supports.  You can see a temporary retaining wall built up along the school's new addition. 

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


Sunday, May 5, 2019

Join Me in Congratulating the Space Academy's Young Astronauts and Voyager Club Top Squadrons for the 2018-2019 School Year

We have nearly 200 Young Astronauts and Voyagers at the Renaissance Space Academy in grades 3 - 8.  They are divided into squadrons of 8-10 cadets.  Young Astronauts and Voyagers participate in a school year long LDMs (Long Duration Missions).  The 3rd grade squadrons encountered an escaped slave who was being hunted by his owner.  The 4-8th grade squadrons ventured deep into the Cardilir Neutral Zone to launch several star probes to study a star on the verge of going supernova.  Classes in leadership, team building, and space science complemented the time spent in the Jumpship Voyager. 

All Space Academy squadrons finish their missions in May. Last week, four of the squadrons completed their missions and received their points and promotions in the Terran Space Command.  We celebrate their successes and achievements.

Congratulations to the 6th Cobra Squadron commanded by Italia.  
Total Points Earned:  824.

Congratulations to the 5th Scorpion Squadron commanded by London.  
Total Points Earned:  837.  Top Team Round Awards:  1.  Second Place Awards:  2 

Congratulations to the Middle School Phoenix Squadron commanded by Gavin.  
Total Points Earned:  807.  Top Team Round Awards:  1.  Second Place Awards:  1

Congratulations to the Middle School Lion Squadron commanded by Seth.  
Total Points Earned:  844.  Top Team Round Awards:  3.  Second Place Awards:  1

Friends of the Christa McAuliffe Space Center.  We Need Your Help with a Matching Grant of $100,000. All We Need are Likes!

To reach our goal of 5,000 LIKES our friends at doTERRA Essential Oils have pledged $20 for every like on the Christa McAuliffe Space Center Facebook page up to $100,000 as the sponsor of the USS Magellan simulator!
Like our page and tag your friends to help us connect to our community. Over 400,000 participants have enjoyed the Space Center and we want to reconnect with them as we look forward to building our next adventure. It is often that people say, "I didn't even know this existed!" With your help and doTERRA Essential Oils we can share the joy of our program and stop this terrible phrase from being uttered again. Help make a donation today with just a click!
Visit to learn more about on our new planetarium and simulators under construction.

James Porter

CMSC Legend Dave Wall Added:

Hey all...If you go to the Community section of the Space Center's Facebook page to the right of the page, there is a link to "Invite your friends to like this Page." Click that, select all, write a quick message and click Send Invites. I did that about an hour ago, and seven of my friends have already added their likes. That's $140 in just a first hour to the Space Center for a few moments of my time. YOU CAN MAKE a big difference!

Meet Mason Perry, a Member of the Next Generation of Flight Directors
Mason last Saturday in the Phoenix Control Room

Meet Mason, a member of the next generation of flight directors currently in training at the Christa McAuliffe Space Center.  I found him directing a training mission on the Phoenix last Saturday.  Jordan Smith (top of his head is visible) sat in the doorway taking copious notes to share with him in Mason's post flight debriefing.  

Mason follows a long line of flight directors who can all trace their training history back to FD1 who just happens to be me over the Space Center's nearly 30 years of operations.  He is training in the old Phoenix, and in less than a year's time, he will be flight directing the new Phoenix in the new Space Center.

Mason's time at the Space Center started as a young black shirt volunteer and member of the Voyager Club back in 2016.  I've followed his progress over the last few years with interest.  He is a talented young man with a fondness for wrist watches as highlighted in another Troubadour post from October 2016.  

Mason as a young volunteer

Mason with his Voyager Club LDM Squadron

 Good luck with your training Mason.  Jordan is a good flight director and will train you well. 

Mr. Williamson

Construction Update
The New Christa McAuliffe Space Center and Central Elementary School

Pre Construction Photo
The playground as we all remember it.  The new school and space center will occupy the right (north) playground.

Construction continues at full speed on the new Christa McAuliffe Space Center and Central Elementary School in Pleasant Grove with an opening date set for April 2020.  

From the Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center's Archives.  A Post from the Past
April 21, 2003
Mr. Williamson was on the Radio

Hello everyone,
     I just thought I would share what happened to me today at work. I work at a Greenhouse and I was there all day, from 9 to 6. Because it gets so boring, we always listen to channel 105.7 on the radio. For you that don't know what channel that is, it's the "Cutting Edge of Rock". 
     At about 3:40, I was just peacefully watering some plants, then something came on the radio about Education. First thing I thought was "Stupid commercials... I just wanna hear some Disturbed!". I didn't pay much attention to it, then the line "A teacher from Alpine School District" really caught my attention. This commercial, started to talk about Mr. Victor Williamson and the history of the Space Center, and what happens there. 
     Listening to this commercial really gave me the chills. All I thought was, "Holy crap, this is the Space Center! I am amongst the few that volunteer there!" Listening to Utah's best rock station, that was the last thing I would ever expect to show up on the radio. It is amazing how the Space Center reaches out to all over the State. I live Roy, over 80 miles away, and I heard about the space center on the radio. I just couldn't believe that the Space Center was on the radio.

Josh is kneeling next to Alex DeBirk who is in the white shirt.

     I wish I could make it down to the Space Center more often, because I am missing out on History. We are all a part of History here at the Space Center. Who knows, maybe one day a kid will come back, and say thanks to you for being the coolest Doctor on the Voyager, 10 years ago. 
     Mr. Williamson has defiantly set his big footprint down, right smack dab in the middle of History. We all can make our mark in time. Let us just hope that our experience from the Space Center will make us succeed in life, to become another great teacher. Mr. Williamson isn't your ordinary, everyday teacher. Sure, he teaches some ordinary school classes here and there, but that isn't where he really teaches. He teaches the kids that come here everyday. He teaches them to open their minds into another world. A world that has no limit, but our very own imagination. He is a teacher of Mind, Heart, and Soul. He has taught me to be a great worker. Most all of my work habits come from his teachings and guidance. 
     We all should be grateful to know this man. Mr. Williamson's workings has touched so many lives, too many to start counting. I am one of that many. Are you?

Josh Dye

Moderator's Note:
Thank you Josh for your very kind words. I'm glad we've made it to the radio. What you are all hearing is a public service announcement supplied by the State Office of Education (I think). It was written by a good friend of the Space Center. Her name is Charlie. She and her husband live in the Salt Lake Valley and come to the Center whenever they get a chance. A public thank you to Charlie for the writing of the commercial and arranging it to be played on air.

Mr. W.

Imaginarium Theater
The Best Videoettes From Around the World to Teach, Inspire, and Entertain a Gentler Audience