|Mr. Porter discovering he isn't as young as he use to be. He was awarded the participation award for|
the Orion Pirate Starship Boarding Game
Space Center Olympics
The Space Center Olympics is a new Christa McAuliffe Space Center tradition held every Memorial Day. This year staff members from all of Utah's Space EdVenture Centers were invited to compete: the CMSC, Renaissance Space Academy, Reality's Edge Space Center, InfiniD, Telos Discovery Space Center, and the Lion's Gate Center (a few olympians represented multiple centers because of dual employment). A good turnout meant lots of fun. Sadly I was not in attendance so the photographs in today's post were gathered from multiple participants: Matt Ricks, Jon Parker, Connor Larsen, Audrey Henricksen, and Lindsay Hatch. Thank you.
The festivities started with the Opening Ceremony held in the gym. The Federation Anthem was played along with proper tributes given to the Romulans and Klingons to whom many are fondly particular (those inclined to cheat their way through the challenges).
Strategizing started right after teams were formed. Here you see one team plotting and scheming in hopes of figuring their way through the events to the gold medals. Connor Larsen was caught promoting a scheme involving bribes and payouts to the judges. Orion fully supported the idea, Brylee was disgusted.
The Orion Pirate Boarding Challenge
Not being there means I must use my overgrown imagination to determine the true nature and purpose of each event. We start with the Orion Pirate Boarding Challenge. Everyone knows the hoops an Orion Pirate must pass through, around, up, and over in order to reach a simulator's bridge and take the ship by sheer force and the honest calls from an unbiased supervisor. This obstacle course represents that challenge. Only those who passed through without disturbing the strings were awarded their "It's a Pirate's Life for Me!" eyepatch and spyglass.
Matt Ricks figured "What the Heck!" and found his own way through the obstacle course - a move very similar to the way he took a bridge during his days as a black shirt volunteer. Matt was one who always relied on the poor calls of a bridge supervisor to take a bridge single handedly from a group of unsuspecting 4th graders or family reunions where grandma played the chief of security. Nathan King is impressed and is considering hiring Matt to teach his volunteers the tricks of the trade at the Lions Gate Center.
The Taste Test Challenge
Is it some exotic alien cheese with an unpronounceable name you're tasting or the sweat from the sock of an unshowered volunteer on his third day of summer camp? Only those with discerning palates and strong stomachs survived this challenge. Smart contestants stayed low to the ground. The unpleasant gut wrenching aromas hovered green at about the 4 foot level.
The Dabbing Contest Winner
Mason Perry, our resident Space EdVentures Time Lord, won the dabbing contest. He was the only person enrolled in that particular competition. Everyone thought it would be good to let him shine at something he does reasonably well. We are all about staff self esteem at the space centers.
The Can You Read the Mind of a Flight Director Competition
Jon Parker won the "Can you Read the Mind of a Flight Director" competition at this year's Space Olympics. Various Flight Directors stood around the corner near the student restrooms and issued play, pause and next card orders in their normal voices. Jon amazed everyone, including Judge Dylan Hunter, on his uncanny ability to hear those faint, mumbled orders and repeat them word for word.
"I was trained by the great Oz himself, the first flight director of them all, the amazing Victor Williamson," Jon bragged. "He expected his supervisors and volunteers to read his mind or hear his orders mid flight no matter where you where in the Voyager and no matter how loud the music or explosions."
Jon is truly amazing and well deserves the medal.
The Pass the Message On Competition
One essential skill needed by every member of staff is accurately conveying messages from control room to control room or from center director to staff. The person to person competition gave the olympians an opportunity to showcase their memory skills.
|Ian passing the message on to Lindsey. Either that or asking her out for date.|
|The teams lined up down the hall waiting for the message to begin. Casey Voeks representing InfinD ensured that every starter knew the message before the starter's pistol sent them on their way.|
|Receiving teams waited up and down the hallway.|
|And then the running and whispering began.|
|At the end everyone gathered to hear the real message.|
|Conner Larsen giving it his best. Everyone knows how valuable it is to have coded messages |
to keep that special camper busy. Another reason why Conner did so well.
One of the favorite competitions is the Quick Change Contest. See who can change into a costume the quickest without any advance warning from an exhausted flight director. "You, you're the ship's doctor, go out there right now and make up a character and backstory and keep the crew occupied with a medical problem long enough so I can go take a pee."
Giving a Camper Directions Competition
Staff were asked to give concise instructions to other staff who played new black shirt volunteers. Mason won with his explicit instruction to Brylee and Lindsey on how to properly fold a costume and put it in its rightful place. I'm told people are still talking about how good he was to this day.
Space Poker with Isolinear Chips
A break between competitions led to a friendly game of Isolinear Chip Poker in the Discovery Room.
Natalie Anderson won again this year. When asked why the headphones she responded by explaining a recent and sudden occurance of partial deafness brought on by excessively loud music played by Tabitha in the Odyssey. She won by having two green, one red, and one orange chip along with one red wire. I don't understand all the rules to the game and don't care enough to ask. I do know that the orange chip fell out of her sleeve when she stretched.
Space Olympic Attire
Special uniforms, hats, scarfs, etc are usually found at real Olympic events so why wouldn't this be true at the Space Center Olympics?