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

Sunday, December 25, 2022

Merry Christmas to the Space EdVenturers Worldwide! The Imaginarium Theater!

Merry Christmas!

Speaking as the founder of our form of simulator based experiential education, I want to wish the staff and volunteers of the Christa McAuliffe Space Center, The Space Place at Renaissance Academy, American Heritage Space Center, Telos Discovery Space Center, and The Lions Gate Space Center at Lakeview Academy along with our Voyagers, Young Astronauts, loyal Troubadours, and our good friends at InfiniD a very merry Christmas! And let's not forget to send our Season's Greetings to our great friends at Dream Flight Adventures. I know the many simulators are enjoying a well-needed rest. Each one parked, snoozing, and waiting to be woken by a flight director at the beginning of the `Long Stretch' to Spring Vacation.

The Long Dreaded Stretch That Lies Ahead

This 'Long, Dreaded, Stretch', is the time of the school year only understood by the educational community and students. This desert of time runs from January to April. Its landscape is marked by a few, one-day holidays and nothing else. Teachers survive the 'Long Stretch' by rationing their sanity and patience into weekly packages.

Each Monday one parcel of sanity is opened and inserted into the appropriate mental slot. By Wednesday, students begin sensing the supply is waning. This is usually demonstrated by the teacher's quivering lip and a seemingly innocent twitch over the left eye - a warning sign that something dark and sinister is bubbling in a dark place.

Thursday is the bleakest day. It marks the end of the teacher's working supply of patience. This is the day teachers earn their notorious reputation by verbally striking out at children with swords of satiric comment and bullets of snide and degrading remarks describing their student's mental abilities. Thursday finds teachers sticking pins into the pictures of their 'deserving' students on 'The Bulletin Board' kept hidden from public view in most faculty rooms. At the beginning of each school year the Board is cursed by a practitioner of the Voodoo arts. The ritual begins with hours of chanting accompanied by shaking rattles. This is followed by the sacrificing of a chicken (recently modified by replacing a real chicken with a 9 piece McNuggets from McDonalds to satisfy the animal rights advocates in the educational community. Although not as effective, it is less messy). The Board is ready for use once it is properly prepared.

On Thursdays one is reminded of the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem as you watch teachers gaze at the hundreds of pictures on the Board. The chanting, the rocking, the occasional weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth are all there. Many of you have wondered why you suddenly take sick at school. Now you understand. I could tell you more but I'm taking a calculated risk writing what I've written.

Friday's wisps of sanity are fueled by fumes only. The Fumes of Patience have a calming effect on teachers when combined with warm thoughts of a weekend. I know the long stretch from January to May is hard on students also. Best thing to do is keep a positive attitude and work hard. When you are working hard the time goes faster.

Seriously, I want to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas. It has been a pleasure working with the finest young adults in Utah Valley over the years. I'm honored that you consider the space centers worthy of your valuable time. Enjoy this holiday season with family and friends and be all the more ready to return to the trenches. There are thousands of children waiting anxiously for their upcoming missions and you make it happen!

Yes, Merrily Go!
Mr. Williamson

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Sunday, December 18, 2022

Enjoy this trip through the Old Space Center Recorded as a SciFi Staff / Volunteer Production. High School Party on the Voyager, April 2005. Imaginarium Theater.

Time to enjoy the Christmas Break!

I found this little gem on YouTube.  It is a short sci-fi adventure produced and directed by Warren Nuila.  Warren was one of our top volunteers around 15 years ago. He rose through the ranks to earn his Blue Shirt and a pay check.  

Warren got a few of his friends together to make this short film. It was shot in the original Galileo simulator (1998 - 2009), and the USS Voyager.  Of course you'll see parts of Central Elementary School as well.  Take 9 minutes of your precious holiday time and watch. See if you can recognize where every scene was filmed.  Take a moment to appreciate how the Galileo changed over the years from number 1 to the present ship at the new Christa McAuliffe Space Center.   

A High School Birthday Party on the USS Voyager.  April 2005.  

The starship simulators have always been a fun place for private parties.  Today we will take a trip in The Troubadour's Way Back Machine to join a group of Pleasant Grove High School students celebrating a birthday. The date, April 16, 2005.  The USS Voyager was the ship. The mission, I'm not sure. I know I flew the mission because it was for my nephew. Let's rely on people with great memories (like Jon Parker) to identify the mission (Update: Jon Parker sent a text after this was posted to tell me the mission we flew was Perikoi. Thanks Jon).  The tactical screens on the Voyager's screen are too blurry for easy identification.   

The group picture at the mission's end

Red Alert!  The Science / Records Station was on the top platform, Beneath Records were the Left Wing and Damage Control Stations.

We're looking down to the lower bridge Communications Station from the Captain's Platform. 

Brock Bodily is the small volunteer helping his big brother (Chaz) with something

Chaz and friend just outside the Voyager's Brig.

The Voyager's Captain at a critical point in the story. Look at that determination in his eyes.

The Voyager's Communication Station. 

Brayden Bodily (black shirt) volunteered on the mission

Chaz protecting the bridge from the alien bad guys.

The volunteers in costume at the end of the mission
Left to Right:  Bracken Funk, ? his face is covered, Brock Bodily, Taylor Herring

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Sunday, December 11, 2022

An Update on The Space Place's Nighthawk Simulator. Imaginarium Theater.

     Today we offer a few pictures illustrating the work being done on The Space Place's Nighthawk Starship Simulator.  Megan Warner and Matt Long removed the Nighthawk several months ago from Renaissance Academy to Enigma's large warehouse where the renovations are being carried out.  Megan works on the ship whenever she has a few minutes between her normal duties at Enigma
     The Nighthawk will return to Renaissance Academy when the work is complete to resume its normal flight operations for the school's Young Astronauts / Voyager Club and public missions.   

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Sunday, December 4, 2022

The Starship Simulator Serving the Washington DC Area; A Part of the Dreamflight Adventures Network. 14,000 Volunteer Hours Given This Year. The Space Center's First Engineering Department Meets, April 2005

Mission Mobile at Explore Children's Museum 

     Mission Mobile uses Dreamflight Adventures simulator software and missions along with unique programs of its own.  Gary and Sarah Gardiner founded Dreamflight Adventures.  Gary's multiple trips to the Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center as a young camper years ago was his inspiration to create Dreamflight Adventures.  That inspiration has led to multiple simulators east of the Mississippi River all of which can trace their ancestry back to the first starship, the USS Voyager in Pleasant Grove.

     Facts about the Mission Mobile program are listed below.

Mission Mobile Partnering Schools and Organizations in the Washington DC Area

Barnard Elementary School
C.W. Harris Elementary School
DC Parks and Recreation Summer Camps
DCPS Summer Enrichment Program
Dep. of Ed., Office of Education Technology
The Field School
Friendship Public Charter School (Chamberlain Campus)
Garfield Inquiry-Based Preparatory Academy
H.D. Cooke Elementary School
Horizons Day Camps—Maret School
J. H. Johnson Middle School
LAMB Public Charter School, Missouri Ave Campus
LAMB Public Charter School, Perry Street Campus
Levine Music (THEARC campus)
Langley Elementary School
LaSalle Backus Education Campus
Marie Reed Elementary School (via Higher Achievement)
Martha's Table
Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School
Murch Elementary School
National Building Museum
Payne Elementary School
Riverdale Park Station
Rose L. Hardy Elementary School
School Without Walls at Francis Stevens
SEED Public Charter School
Simon Elementary School
Sitar Arts Center
Smithsonian, Freer and Sackler Galleries Smithsonian Office of Education and Access
Stoddert Elementary School Summer Camp
Stuart-Hobson Middle School
The Field School
Washington International School
Washington Latin Public Charter School
Washington School for Girls
Whittier STEM Education Campus
Washington Tennis & Education Foundation

Thank You Volunteers.  You Are the Wind in the Space Center's Sails


     The Christa McAuliffe Space Center thanks its enormous volunteer force.  This year the total number of volunteer hours exceeded 14,000 hours.  

     Volunteering is the life blood of every Utah County Space EdVenture Center:  Christa McAuliffe Space Center, Renaissance Academy's The Space Place, Lakeview Academy's Lions Gate Space Center, Telos Academy's Discovery Space Center, and the American Heritage School's Space Center.  Volunteers do everything from operating the second chair position in many simulators, to playing multiple acting roles, to cleaning, to building props, and of course supervising campers and public programs.

The Space Center's Legacy in Pictures
The Foundation of the Engineering Department at the CMSC.  April 2005 

     Today, the Christa McAuliffe Space Center has an Engineering Department headed by Jade Hansen.  Both Space Center volunteers and staff are members. They meet on a regular basis to work on projects like 3D printing and simulator engineering panels and maintenance.  

     The Space Center's first Engineering Department started in April 2005.  Sadly, it wasn't long lived due to the difficulty of keeping it staffed with qualified people, but the kick off event was fantastic.  It met for the first time on April 2, 2005, a Saturday morning.  Dr. Long from BYU's Electrical Engineering Department was the presenter along with a few of his BYU students.  The goal of the inaugural meeting was to build computer boards to assist the Dr. Long's students.  His class was designing and building the Starship Voyager's Isolinear Chip / Engineering Station on the bridge.      

Our volunteers learn about soldering a computer board.  Jeremiah Robinson in the black shirt. 

Everyone hard at work on their computer boards.  In this photo you see Taylor Thomas, Spencer Robinson and several other Space Center volunteers.

Brent Anderson, in the white shirt, was the Space Center's Programming Department Head.  Kirby Glad behind him in the striped shirt was a long time Space Center supported and contributor.

Dr. Long working with three of our volunteers

This board is coming along fine

Kirby Glad and his twin sons discussing 
the project while a BYU electrical engineering student tests the
computer boards.

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