Monday, November 23, 2020
Sunday, November 8, 2020
Thoughts on the Christa McAuliffe Space Center's 30th Anniversary. November 8, 1990 - November 8, 2020. The New Christa McAuliffe Space Center's Dedication Program, PLUS Pictures of the New Ships. Imaginarium Theater.
|Honor's Night. Look at all those earning their one year volunteering pin|
|James Porter passed off as an Odyssey Flight Director by Dave Wall|
So many people were drawn into the project. Special gratitude is given to Stan Harward, Central's principal at the time, and Dr. Luana Searle, Asst Superintendent over elementary schools. Money was raised and many hours of volunteer manpower were given. This new program had to succeed. Failure wasn't an option. I didn't sleep well those first years. My health suffered. My poor heart never completely recovered. The anxiety attacks, I'm happy to say, lasted three years and ended.
|A great group of young Blue Shirt Rangers|
I originally envisioned the Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center to be a science lab on board a futuristic spaceship but that idea never took hold for a multiple reasons. I opened the Space Center by experimenting with a scientific mission to Mars. There are people who remember that first school mission. We flew at warp speed using HyperCard controls I programmed. Once there we used a Mars laser disc for special effects. We flew around the planet learning about its climate and features. I stood on the bridge next to the Tactical screen. My 6th grade staff (2 kids) sat in the control room listening and waiting for clues on when to play and pause the laser disc player and VCR. How primitive it was compared to what we do now.
|Tanner Edwards with the Galileo|
|Another Honor's Night in the Magellan|
The idea of adding the Romulan scene at the end of the mission worked. The kids got excited to see the Romulan ship. The little battle thrown into the end of the Mars mission was successful. It convinced me that my original idea of taking a class on an EdVenture into space would work with the general public like it did with my captive 6th grade class.
|Dustin Robinson and Megan Warner in the Voyager Control Room|
I sat down and wrote another mission called "Epsilon". It was a story of a planet in the Klingon Neutral Zone. Half the planet was under Federation control and the other was under Klingon control. The treaty, allowing joint control of the planet, was up for renegotiation. The planet would be awarded to the government which demonstrated it could best care for the planet's population.
|The Overnight Camp Program. 1990-2012|
The story had the Voyager entering the Neutral Zone bringing a new kind of wheat to the planet. This new wheat was genetically engineered to grow well in the planet's harsh climate. The Voyager had a few close calls on the way to the planet and a few others while in orbit. At the end of the mission our classes left the Voyager so excited. I knew I had found the formula; and the rest, as they say, is history.
Now here we are 29 years later. The one ship is now a fleet of 13 located at the CMSC, Renaissance Academy, Lakeview Academy, Canyon Grove Academy, and Telos U. The CMSEC inspired spin off companies like Dream Flight Adventures and IndiniD with simulators in several other states and outside the country. Our stories are more complicated. Our simulators are more sophisticated. I'm getting older and gray but the magic is still there.
|Randy Jepperson and Mark Daymont with the Falcon.|
|The Crew of the Voyager|
|James Porter entering the ranks of the Green Shirt Adult Staff|
Sixteen years ago I wrote..
Perhaps some day video game technology will become so evolved that children will do one of our missions at home connected to some kind of virtual reality machine. The computer will play my part, telling the story and reacting to the kid's decisions. The class will sit with goggles covering their eyes showing them the bridge of some futuristic ship. Gloves will give them the feel of working the controls. Perhaps the Voyager will still be around when that day comes. It may be a museum this future generation will visit with their grandparents. As they tour the simulator the sounds of our voices and the blaring music with red alerts will mix with their grandparents' stories of when they flew the original Voyager, Odyssey, Magellan, Phoenix, and Galileo long ago to far away places.Thank you everyone for Thirty Years. Thank you volunteers for the hours of time you give these programs each month. Thank you to the staff of all the space centers for always going above and beyond the call of duty. We are all involved in creating lasting memories that will stay with our students forever.
Sunday, October 25, 2020
A busy day today so let's just sit back and enjoy a longer Imaginarium Theater and call it a weekend.
The Best Videos From Around the World Edited for a Gentler Audience.
Sunday, October 18, 2020
The Christa McAuliffe Space Center Staff are Introduced to the Planetarium in a Brilliantly Executed Socially Distanced and Masked Way. What an Example to the Rest of Utah. See the Cassini's New Uniforms. Imaginarium Theater.
Saturday witnessed a gathering of Space EdVenturers at the new Christa McAuliffe Space Center in Pleasant Grove. The executive level meeting was called by James Porter, director of the CMSC. After months of construction it was time to show the results to the staff for their enthusiastic approval. A second more important reason was to excite the troops and prepare them to return to work. Many came in person, while others preferred to participate from a distance via Google Meet.
We met in the planetarium's lobby. Audrey Henriksen brought one of the Cassini's new crew uniforms for Lorraine Houston's official inspection. Audrey has assumed Lorraine's position as official outfitter of the Christa McAuliffe Space Center.
Lorraine was impressed with Audrey's skills as a seamstress. The uniform was given her official stamp of approval.
Conner Larsen hovered menacingly over Mr. Porter giving all present a shudder of 1984, Big Brother is Watching.