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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Admiral Wall Visits the Space Center and Says "All is Well." Meet InfinD Learning's Three Master Sergeants. Theater Imaginarium.

Dave Wall, Second from Left
Space Center Legend Returns. "All is Well," He Exclaims. "All is Well."

     Admiral Dave Wall, second on the left, returned to Starbase 1 Space Center with his entourage for a formal inspection tour of the fleet yesterday.  They were met by Jon Parker, briefed on Space Center operations, then escorted aboard the USS Phoenix for launch and tour.  
     The Wall brothers (Dave and Steve) were the primary imagineers and builders of the Odyssey I way back in the early 1990's.  When asked what he thought of the new Odyssey II Dave replied, "It's pretty, but I'm sure the cadets liked my Odyssey best."  
     The original Odyssey was both a cadet's dream and nightmare.  Dream because of the bunks and crawlspace engineering section, along with multiple hatches for frightening, unwanted mission intrusions. And nightmare because of the ship's tendency to draw blood. The Odyssey had a few sharper corners and screws that wouldn't stay fully flush to the surface. We always thought such things gave a ship character; all easily remedied with a bandage at best and a couple stitches at worst.
     In the late 1990's Life came calling and Admiral Dave Wall retired from Starfleet to pursue a civilian career. He married his beautiful wife Amber (beside him) and settled in a mountaintop neighborhood.  
     Occasionally Admiral Dave feels that longing for space. And when it comes calling, he dons the uniform and ventures down the mountain to ensure all is safe with the fleet and Federation.  To the Space Center rank and file, Admiral Wall was just your normal Saturday visitor. They didn't know they had a genuine VIP in their midst.  I think the Space Center needs to issue a special identifying medal to those who helped create the simulators and program hundreds of thousands have enjoyed since it opened in 1990.  The young volunteers, supervisors, and flight directors would then know they were entertaining a legend.  

An example of an appropriate greeting

     Appropriate respect shown with a fist salute or genuflecting would be the appropriate response to a visiting Space Center Legend. The salute would be accompanied by a cheer, then followed by the serving of fine vintage sodas along with cheese and crackers on a silver platter.  Just my two cents on the matter.

Mr. Williamson  

Meet InfinD's Three Master Sergeants (after all, it's the Master Sergeants who really run the place, don't they?)

Master Sergeant Sarah and Master Sergeant Rick at the Canyon Grove Center
     InfinD's Admirals are thought to dwell somewhere in the vastness of space developing and imagineering the best product in school based experiential learning on the market today. In addition to their development responsibilities, they are always inspiring and directing the staff and interns of the company's three space center locations; Canyon Grove Academy, Lakeview Academy, and Merit Academy.  But the real day to day operations of the space centers are overseen by the company's demanding Master Sergeants: Rick Patterson, Sarah Glad, and Brandon Wright.  Rick oversees both the Discovery and Merit Academy Space Centers with Sarah Glad working as his right hand enforcer and overseer with primary responsibility for the Merit Academy location.  

Brandon and Rick reviewing plans for Lakeview Academy's two new simulators under construction
     Brandon Wright is both an InfinD owner with one foot in the vastness of space, and Master Sergeant of the Lakeview Academy Center under the direction of Admiral Rick Veasey.

The passing of the Director's Whistle: Kendrick to Rick Signifying a Change of Command
at the Discovery Space Center
     Rick Patterson took control of the Discovery Space Center from Kendrick Gines several months ago.  Kendrick was moved to the vastness of space to provide direction and inspiration, although he often beams down to run DSC simulator missions and check in with the sergeants.  
    There are great things happening at InfinD Learning (the Vastness of Space).  The company is continuing to develop an entirely unique experiential learning tool called "The Module".  The Module transforms a school's computer lab into a fully functioning simulator at a small fraction of the cost of building a simulator.  If you know of a school with a forwarding thinking administration and staff dedicated to providing their students with one of the best tools on the market for discovery, simulation centered learning, please contact my good friends at InfinD. They'll happily descend from the Vastness to run a demo for your school.        

Theater Imaginarium

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Three Squadrons Complete Round Three. The Order of the Sandwich Gathers to Celebrate. Dream Flight Adventures Holds a Training Session. The Imaginarium.

The Voyager Club Update:  Lion, Tiger, and Phoenix White Squadrons Finish Round Three.

It's been a busy week at the Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center. Renaissance Academy's Farpoint Voyager Club had three of its six squadrons complete the third round of the 2015-16 Long Duration Mission on the Magellan simulator.   

The Lion Squadron  (Last Saturday)

The Tiger Squadron (last Thursday)

The Phoenix White Squadron (today)

     The Scorpio and Cobra Squadrons will wrap up the third round next week.  Rounds four and five are scored. A whole school year's worth of missions rests on the performance the last five hours of flight time.  
     The pressure builds.  

The Order of the Sandwich (Formally known as the Sandwich Club) Gathers to Celebrate Rachel Harken and Aleta Clegg 

Alex, Matt, Stacy, and Rachel enjoy a laugh. The party was dying down at this point as
evident by Stacy's diverted interest.

The Order of the Sandwich's (Sandwich Club) membership consists of those who were on time card when I worked as director of the Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center.  We gather for special occasions, and when I remember that we haven't met for some time, to renew our friendships and keep up on each other's gossip.  If you were ever on time card at the Space Center and aren't getting Sandwich Club invites it's because we: 1) didn't like you - which would never be the case; or 2) I don't have your email so you should send it to me.

A few of the Order's members tour the Voyager's Bridge

We gathered last Saturday to welcome former Space Center flight director Rachel Harken home from her LDS mission to Texas AND to celebrate Space Center All Arounder Aleta Clegg's graduation from from BYU's graduate school with her master's degree in science.  We met in my classroom at Renaissance Academy so the group could tour the new USS Voyager.  My ulterior motive was to remind them of their 'reactivation clause' implied in their original terms of employment, giving me the right to call them back into employment to help operate the Voyager.  Most were surprised when informed of that clause.  The contractual print required a magnifying glass to read, but they should have known better when dealing with someone like me.  

Alex DeBirk led the tour. Some opted out and remained upstairs consuming mass quantities of  sub sandwich, chips, pickles, and Lorraine Houston's award winning pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.

The Voyager impressed them all, so I'm hoping the time and expense I endured ordering the sandwich from WalMart, then having to stop and purchase it the following day, along with the pickles, chips and water, and then taking it up the elevator to my classroom and setting it all up will guilt them into returning to the Space Service.  Only time will tell.

Mr. Williamson      

Dream Flight Adventures' Simulator Inservice Extravaganza

Yesterday Mike Penn and Heather Oros hosted an inservice day for around 100 teachers in Shaler Area School District, Pennsylvania, on their simulator, the IKS Titan.

The teachers attended in groups by grade and specialty.  They received a general briefing just like a student would and were assigned a job.  Then they “flew” through a sampling of many missions and environments.SASD-inservice3
They were just as enthusiastic as the kids are!  We heard many positive comments. Many of the teachers commented on how they didn’t really understand the simulator until now and that this inservice gave them valuable insight into what their students do and why they are so excited.

There will be lots of brainstorming about how they can use the simulator to bring more relevance and realism their curriculum.
The Imaginarium