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

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Utah's Rocket Man and Former CMSC Teacher Passes Away. Bradyn Lystrup Gives Us an Update on the Newly Opened Reality's Edge Space Center. America is Back in Space. Ten Years Ago: Life On an Overnight Camp: My Late Night Wanderings. Imaginarium Theater.

     I have many happy memories of Fred. He supplied my Young Astronauts with rockets for many many years. He taught several merit badge and summer camp classes for me at the Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center and for that I will be forever grateful because it allowed me to rub shoulders and learn from a remarkably gifted teacher. 
     It is only fitting that he be laid to rest on the day we return American astronauts into space from American soil. Our Fred, a life long space enthusiast, sets his course for the heavens while two others take us into a new age of space exploration. On behave of your many friends at the Christa McAuliffe Space Center and schools state wide we wish you God speed Fred on your final voyage. 

Fred's obituary link

Are Any of Utah's Space EdVenture Center's Open for Private Missions and Camps?

     Four of Utah's five Space EdVentures Centers are closed to the public in March - all casualties of Covid 19.  Here is an update:

•  Christa McAuliffe Space Center: Closed for construction throughout the summer.  The new CMSC will open in the Fall. Six new simulators and a new, state of the art, planetarium
•  Renaissance Space Academy:  Closed for repainting and new carpet in the Briefing Room. All classrooms are getting painted and new carpet. The school's hallways are being carpeted.  The school's entrance and office areas being remodeled.
•  Telos Discovery Space Center:  Closed for public missions.
•  Lion's Gate Center:  Closed for public missions.

New lighting and support upgrades to the Dauntless at Reality's Edge

Who's Open?   
Reality's Edge is Open for Camps and Private Missions. 

Bradyn Lystrup, Director of Reality's Edge at Canyon Grove Academy, sent The Trobuadour the following update:

     Having a space center mission itch that hasn't been scratched since March?  Your wait is over, Reality's Edge opened two weeks ago with a full slate of private missions and camps in our three simulators, Everest, Dauntless, and Valiant.  Of course we follow strict COVID-19 precautions as set out by the State of Utah and the CDC. 

The Everest at Reality's Edge

     Mission bookings are increasing as the summer camp season readies to open. Reality's Edge has the staff and volunteers on hand to offer our customers the best Space EdVenture experience possible. The CMSC's staff and volunteers are here with us while the new CMSC is built.
     Knowing we would be the only space center open this summer motivated us to install several updates to the ships -  mostly panels and lights. Several set pieces from the CMSC's old simulators have found new homes in our ships. For example, the Odyssey's front of the bridge air vent covers the Everest's brig hatch. It fits like a glove - like it knew it would be repurposed for us.

The Odyssey's Front Panel in the Everest Brig

     Reality's Edge fell off the Space EdVentures radar for awhile as it transitioned to full Canyon Grove management.
I was hired to direct the program several months ago.  My goal has been to bring Reality's Edge back to where it was as a full service Space EdVentures Center. We're getting there day by day, especially thanks to the help we've been given by James Porter and the staff at the Christa McAuliffe Space Center. They’ve been supportive in the ship upgrades and and in the staffing of our missions. Each brings his or her own personal touch to our ships and missions. 
     Now let it be said that I'm no James Porter or Victor Williamson (well James Porter for sure. I may have surpassed Victor's skills years ago as a Voyager Flight Director :) so the CMSC staff may feel a bump in the road from time to time working at Reality's Edge with me.  James Porter is this all knowing center director who has all problems solved before even before they become problems. He apparently (according to his staff) has an answer to any question, even if he makes the answers up. Self assured confidence oozes from his pores so no one dares question him. 

Lindsey Hatch flying her first flight since returning from her mission. We happen to be in the control room eating some classic French bread with Connor Larsen who started the day with me that morning at 8am.

     Now contrast James Porter to me. Some would say I'm just as sarcastic as James, but because of my youth, tend to enjoy the game of Goofball. Whereas James carries the mantle of being the Director of the 30 year old Mother Center, l have more freedom to be myself.  This being the case, I forewarn everyone who comes to work at Reality's Edge that they'll be dealing with one of the Voyager's Boys and not to take everything I say too seriously.

The Dauntless at Reality's Edge

     Truth be told, running a space center has always been a dream of mine and I take my job and the success of this program seriously. Each of the Space EdVenture Centers has that responsibility, to continue the work and reputation of Mr. Williamson and all those who worked with him over the years. That commitment to quality and the student and camper is paramount and has been so since 1990. 
     Overall there is a sense of joy, optimism and excitement in the fabric of Reality's Edge. We know we carry the Space EdVentures flag this summer so the pressure is on. We have the talent, the manpower, the simulators, and the vision. Come and join us this summer at Reality's Edge. 

See You Up There,
Bradyn Lystrup

Wednesday, May 20.  The Dauntless Breaks Free of the Evil Clutches of Covid 19.

     The Dauntless at Reality's Edge broke the Covid 19 quarantine on May 20th and launched with a private crew. Of course the go to mission for most new crews is Intolerance and that's what they did. Now that I think about it. Intolerance could be modified for the present times. The slave could be someone not running from slavery, but quarantine. I have you thinking, don't I?
      Maeson Busk was the flight director.  Dan Kirkpatrick was the supervisor.  Lindsey Hatch was the intern / volunteers.  Also on hand for the mission were Matt Ricks, Tabitha Long, Jon Parker, Connor Larsen, and Bradyn Lystrup. The social distancing went well. The flight director stood far away from the crew during briefing, hand sanitizer was in abundance, and masks covered the face of all those on the bridge.  Rool did still go up onto the bridge, but didn't have much more interaction than that.

America Once Again Sends Astronauts into Space From American Soil Since July 2011

Ten Years Ago at the Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center...

My Late Night Wanderings at the Space Center

Hello Troops,
     It's 10:35 P.M. on May 21, 2010. We are in the thick of another Overnight Camp. Tonight we are hosting sixth graders from Orem Elementary School (and a few others from other schools to fill out our camp numbers). I needed to get up from my computer and stretch my legs and decided to take my camera. What you are about to see is what I saw as I took a quick walk through the school to check on the ships. There is no theme to this post except to say that this is what I saw on a quick three minute walk to get the blood moving back into my legs. So, here we go - a few snapshots showing a moment frozen in time at the Space Center on a Friday Night.

     This is Emily. She is playing the Grand PooPah for the Voyager's Mission. She is the first to admit she has no shame.
     "I'm taking one for the team," she said. You old timers may recognize the creature in her arms. He's our little Alien from the Voyager Control Room. He was donated to the Voyager years ago by Shane Skaggs. He won it at Lagoon and thought the Space Center would make it a good home.

     Zac Hirshi is training to fly the Phoenix. He's seen here but I'm not sure if we're looking at the back of his head or his face. His hair is so out of control no one is really ever sure.

     This is a shot of the Phoenix crew in mid mission. Alex Anderson is the flight director. They are doing the Phoenix's new mission "Murphy's Law" written by Bracken Funk.

     Shhhhh! Don't tell anyone. I'm sneaking sugar from my secret stash kept hidden somewhere in the Discovery Room. A walk and a treat is just what the doctor ordered for 10:40 P.M. on a Friday Night. Hmmmm, shall it be salt water taffy or a Peppermint Patty or two. My solution, why ration? It's mine....... ALL mine.

     As I stand and experience the wintry blizzard freshness of a Peppermint Patty I ponder the purpose of destroying the Discovery Room. I hear Mr. Daymont in the Magellan Control Room in full voice and character. It appears from his dialog the Magellan Crew is about to venture off the bridge and into this room where they will find complete and utter destruction caused by marauding aliens aboard the Station.

     Isn't it amazing what a red alert screen mixed with a classroom of overturned desks and chairs can become? At the Space Center it could be anything from
1. A classroom with overturned desks and chairs or.....
2. The command bunker of some alien world bombed from orbit by a race of reptiles moving through the galaxy searching and destroying all forms of mammal life they encounter.

      Well troops, my walk is complete. It's nearing 11:00 P.M. I'll wander to the cafeteria to set out the ice cream sandwiches and cookies for the late night snack before we put the kids to bed. I'll get this posted but it won't be until after 11:00 P.M.

     I hope this post spurred a few cherished memories from the Space Center to our old veteran staff who have since moved on to bigger and better things. My hope is that you never forget the time you spent here at the second Happiest Place on Earth!

Mr. Williamson

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

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Another Overnight Camp Success. Also the Last Field Trip of the School year and an All Time New Attendance Record. News From Space. The Imaginarium Theater (With Talkies). Wow What Fun Today!

With all but one of the Space EdVenture Center closed for the Covid Unpleasantness (my British is coming out), let's see what was happening this week at the Space Center ten years ago. You'll get a kick out of this and see some faces you've not seen it awhile and some you know even today!

Ten Years Ago This Week

SATURDAY, MAY 22, 2010

Hello Troops,
     The Overnight Camp went well. I didn't sleep well. Some weekends are better than others. The campers were from Orem Elementary. Again I can happily report they were awesome. We get some really great kids attending our camps. It makes doing this every weekend worth it.
     There's news to report. Shall we start with the really cool and work down to the completely trivial?

     This is Warren. Warren has been at the Space Center for years. His older brother Gary worked here before him. Warren is a Supervisor in the Magellan. Warren had good news to share. He received an LDS mission call to Frankfurt Germany. He enters the MTC on September 15th. Of course he's excited (his German isn't too bad either).

     This is Emily shaking hands with Wyatt. Isn't Wyatt special? We've been working on his social skills for a few years now. This weekend we can report success! After several false starts, Emily (one of our bright and upcoming therapists) got Wyatt to to extend his hand to shake hers. We were all so proud. I'm not ashamed to admit there wasn't a dry eye in the room. Our Center has a proven success record in working with video game shut ins. Some of our graduates have been spotted out of their homes! Others are starting to talk to people they don't know!

     OK, what's this picture really about? We are celebrating Wyatt's promotion to Flight Directorhood. Wyatt spent several months training to Flight Direct and today his hard work and frayed nerves paid off when Emily (Odyssey Set Director) presented his dress blues during out post camp meeting in Discovery. Wyatt is now ready and able to direct your next Odyssey mission. Congratulations Wyatt!

     This is Zach. That is Stacy, Set Director for the Galileo. Zach passed the Galileo second chair position during the camp. He is now qualified to proudly wear the Galileo Pin on his lanyard. What does that mean? It means we trust him to run the audio, video and computer systems for the Galileo. Wow, so much responsibility for one so young yet that is the kind of volunteers we have at the Space Center.

     This is Brandon. Brandon is dressed as a Magellan Security Officer. Brandon was awarded his One Year Service Pin today. Thanks Brandon for being a part of our elite group of movers and shakers at the Space Center.

     This is Stacy. You remember her from an earlier picture. Stacy has found a way to make herself useful. She is testing our new twirling red alert lights recently purchased to help create the settings for our simulator's landing parties. We bought 12 of them I believe. Are you thinking what I'm thinking? Yes you are. If demand for our camps and classes evaporate we could retool the Center into a pretty cool disco dance hall. Groovy Man........

     Finally and firmly in last place we have Jon and his, his...... his........ (what is that?) hummmmm....... his........... It's his 'thing a majig'. Yea, that's what it is.
     Wait, I know what that is. It's Jon's 23rd century automatic tea dispenser. How stupid. I should have known that. It makes a really nice British style cup of tea - and - using a nuclear powered heating system, keeps the tea warm until ready to dispense. Jon is going ship to ship offering the Flight Director's a nice cupper to keep 'em going. Jon's a good bloke (don't ask me what it really is. It's been floating around the Center for a few years now and used as a prop for everything from an alien communication device to a food mixer).

Anyway, so much Saturday at the Space Center. See what you're missing by not being here?

Mr. Williamson


Our Last Field Trip for 2009-2010. And Now We Sleep.
Hello Troops,
Monte Vista Elementary's last two sixth grade classes finished our 2009 - 2010 school year field trip program today. The bus arrived at 2:00 P.M. and departed at 6:00 P.M. The students did the mission "Supernova". Lorraine taught the classroom and Aleta and Lorraine did the Digitarium presentation. Yes, you read that right, I wrote Digitarium. The Space Center's brand new $27,000 portable planetarium is here and is it something wonderful! Aleta and Alex A. spent the last several days learning how to operate the computer and projector. It is more complicated than our old Starlabs but what a picture! It's color, and because the projector displays a computer image we can show everything up on the dome a computer screen will display. This will open the door to new and exciting planetarium presentations.

Our New Digitarium Planetarium. Aleta Clegg Director

I took a few snapshots of for the scrap book as our way of officially saying goodbye to a good year. We have a small overnight camp tomorrow night (Thursday). We will be hosting students from Idaho. We have another overnight camp on Friday with students from Ridgeline Elementary School. We have a few down days for summer prep, then reopen on June 4th and 5th with a full slate of private programs. Our first EdVenture Camp starts Monday, June 7th.

This is how you get in and out of the Digitarium. The kids are blurry because Mrs. Houston unzipped the dome (there is no tunnel like the Starlabs). We have to let 5 out at a time so the dome doesn't loose all its air. When she says "Move" they move!

The last student is out and Lorraine is zipping up the dome for reinflation. Mrs. Clegg is still inside working on a few bugs. The Digitarium is complicated and will take some time to learn all its functions.

The students are lined up ready to go outside for a snack before their science lesson in Discovery.

The students get a 15 minute break on the school's east lawn. This picnic area represents the work of two boys for their Eagle Scout Projects.

After their snack, the students go to Discovery for their science lesson. Mrs. Houston was their teacher today.

Mrs. Houston, at her station waiting to provide chills and thrills with a lesson on the light spectrum.
While one class is in the Digitarium and lesson, the other class is in the simulators.

The Odyssey crew is briefed, trained and ready to go.

The Voyager crew is receiving last minute instructions from Emily, their flight director.

Zac is the waiting to go to the Voyager Bridge. He is the Bridge Officer for this mission. He makes his grand entrance when Emily leaves for the Control Room.

It is 6:00 P.M. and time for our last field trip to depart. This is the end for the school year 2009-2010. A great year!

And now I rest after 18,253 students. A new 19 year attendance record. Please do not disturb.........Shhhhhhh

Mr. Williamson
In Space
Space News from Telos Discovery Space Center

Imaginarium Theater (With Talkies)
The Best Videos From Around the World Edited for a Gentler Audience

Sunday, May 17, 2020

A New and Necessary Set of Space Center Terms. Photos of the Demolition of Central School and the Space Center. Imaginarium Theater (Now With Talkies).

Hello Space EdVentures Fans,

Now that Central Elementary and the Christa McAuliffe 
Space Center are demolished and the new school and Space Center are under construction, I'll need to make distinctions of what building I'm talking about and what ships.  Let's start with the school:

1.  The new building under construction is Central School 4. Central School 3 was demolished over the last two weeks.  Central School 2 was demolished in 1954.  Central School 1 was demolished about 12 years ago. It was that old 3 story church just north of the school.  Central School moved out of that building in 1910 and into Central School 2.  Good, you got that? 

Central School 1  1893 - 1909.  It sat where the construction workers park today.  You can see Central 3 on the
left of the photo.  It was converted into a high school in 1911 and then became an LDS meetinghouse.  

Central School 2.  Demolished in 1955

Central School 3.  Opened in 1956. Demolished May 2020
Central School 4 under construction

2.  The original Christa McAuliffe Space Center will be the CMSC 1990 for future references.  The new Space Center will just be referred to as CMSC.

3.  The simulators of CMSC 1990 will be referred to as Voyager 1990,  Odyssey 1990 and Odyssey 2013 (the Odyssey 1990 was completely demolished for the Odyssey 2013),  Magellan 1990, Phoenix 1990, and Galileo 1990 and Galileo 2009.  The 1990 doesn't mean the year the simulator opened, the number simply connotes the first location of the Christa McAuliffe Space Center.     

The Last Crews of the Fleet of Ships at CMSC 1990

     James Porter recently did a Facebook post on the last crews to fly in the simulators of CMSC 1990. 

The CMSC 1990 Meet's the Excavator

     James Porter recently did a Facebook post showing the CMSC 1990's futile resistance against the power of a modern excavator (and we thought they were nearly invincible after all those space battles against such dark universal forces).

Central School's Staff pose for one last picture before the excavator begins the demolishion

Imaginarium Theater (Now with Talkies)
This week's best videos from around the edited for a gentler audience

Sunday, May 10, 2020

And Down it Goes. Central Elementary School Building 3 Demolished. Building 4 Rises from the Ashes. InfiniD Looking for Voice Actors. Imaginarium Theater with Talkies!

     In the span of 7 days most of the old Central Elementary School came tumbling down into a heap of rubble.  The original Christa McAuliffe Space Center went down with it.

The south entrance of the school on Saturday. The last section of the school to go was the Kindergarten - 2nd grade wing.

The school's office can be seen on the left of the photo.   This rubble is what is left of the Magellan,
Odyssey, Phoenix, Discovery, and Voyager

      Although sad to see the old building go, look at the future rising from the rubble heap. I like this photo because of its symbolism.  Like the Phoenix rising from the ashes, the new Christa McAuliffe Space Center rises from the remains of the original Space Center.  

     With this new building comes a secure and bright future for the CMSC. With this building comes a statement from the Alpine School District that the Space Center has made that transition from Central School's Space Center to the Alpine District Space Center at Central School.
     I for one am excited to be a part of the new CMSC.  I've set a personal goal to be a two simulator flight director; the USS Voyager at Renaissance Space Academy and the Cassini at the CMSC.  
     The icing on the cake would be for this virus to go away so the opening of the new Space Center and Central School can be done properly with all the fanfare the event deserves.  
      I want to thank Jon Parker for taking the time to collect a brick from the old school for me.  The construction workers were kind to set several bricks outside the fence for the school's more sentimental alumni. 

After 64 years this is a sight you'll never see again.  For me, 37 years associated with this building.  Nearly 1100 nights spent sleeping on its floors.  It was my home away from home. 


InfiniD Looking for Voice Actors

Looking for voice actors!
Here's the deets:
- Looking to fill the roles of 20+ characters
- Open to any experienced or aspiring voice actors
- Recordings done in Provo, UT office
- Starting $20/hr (minimum 1 hour pay guaranteed per session)
- Auditions due by Monday May 11

     Our program makes it possible for any teacher to turn their classroom into a spaceship, shrink ray, or time machine at the push of a button. The students must then complete missions dealing with what they just learned in class. During the mission the students come in contact with many different characters that help them, challenge them, or even try to lead them astray.
     Please pass this on to anyone you feel may be interested in taking on one of these roles!

Meet InfiniD's RALF (Robot Assistant to Life Forms)

     The audition submissions for this guy so far have been a lot of fun. The InfiniD characters and universe have been many years in the making with lots of creative minds blending the best ideas. Next school year is going to be legendary for our users with fully automated missions coming online and an experience like never before.
     I love what we do at InfiniD. It's been years of hard work to get to this point but we are finally able to provide our schools *everything* we have wanted to this coming school year.
Imaginarium Theater
The Best Videos From Around the World Edited for a Gentler Audience.  Now with Talkies!

Thursday, May 7, 2020

The USS Magellan's Final Day. It Goes Down in Battle Against the Wreaking Machine. All That Remains is the Defiant Phoenix . Tomorrow it Will Make Its Last Stand. .

     May 7, 2020 was the Magellan's last stand against Time and Progress which move us forward into the future. What a fine ship it was as it voyaged through that universe of imagination so many of us craftily created over these many years.  With the Magellan went the Discovery Room. 
     We said a form of goodbye to the Magellan once before when it was remodeled into the ship many of you knew. This was my "Farewell" video to the Magellan at that time. 

The Original Magellan's Last Mission

     My first mission as director of the Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center was on the Voyager. My Last Mission was on the Magellan; Friday, May 25, 2013.  The Children of Perikoi with my students - children from Central Elementary School 

Now a Short Farewell. The End of the Magellan.  The Mighty Ship Meets its End.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

The Voyager Sails into the Twilight. Celebrate the Passing of a Friend.

      And just like that it was no more......10,778 days.  Even closed for the past 2,835 of those days it stood as a monument of imagination and imagineering, an inspiration for the many simulators that followed.
     The 5th of May will be one of those days to remember.  Tomorrow it will be the Odyssey and Phoenix.  The last ship to go will be the Magellan. 

        People ask if I'm sad to see them go. Of course, but I'm finding more joy in seeing what has come from that first ship Voyager and what is yet to come.  The ship served its purpose well and deserves to live on our memories.
     Think of all the stories you already tell when you get together with former shipmates.  Good times, yes?  And that's the way it should be.
     And far into the future, there may be a story told of a crazy project that boldly went where no man had gone before. 
     Once upon time there was this ship called Voyager.........    

     Toast the passing of a friend and look to the future for what is to come.