Friday, February 8, 2013


We inspire learning and discovery through immersive, space-themed experiences in science, arts, and the humanities.

The Cache Valley Space Education Center is now simply the Space Education Center.  We are a registered non-profit organization currently working towards opening in June of 2013.  More information can be found by visiting:

Thursday, December 8, 2011


Welcome to the Project
On our new project site you will find information relating to our business plan and what we currently are working on to reach our goal of providing a unique educational experience to our students through the creation of a simulator and space education center.

Why bring it to your school?
One of the greatest reasons to develop this program is for the students. No other program can match the inspiration and wonderment that happens during a space center mission. Students are able to participate in an environment that enables them to stretch their abilities and accomplish things they haven’t even dreamed of.

The space center incorporates the use of volunteers in order to minimize the operating expenses. As the host school/district your students would have priority for the opportunity to volunteer. Volunteering provides exceptional work experience at an early age as well as motivation to maintain high academic achievement in order to qualify as a volunteer.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Lab Conversion

There is a rumor going around that we are going to build a simulator.  So where is this simulator going to be located?  One idea that has been proposed for our program is to convert the main computer lab at the school into a part time simulator.  The design would allow it to still function as a computer lab, but in the evenings, weekends, and summers it will be able to take students on adventures into space.

In order for the lab to be able to function as a simulator there are going to need to be some big changes.  One of the biggest is the addition of a wall to separate the control room from the bridge.  There will also be a new lighting system, audio equipment, and general aesthetic elements such as paint to help create the atmosphere of being in a star ship.  Their are other elements we hope to add to the simulator as we generate funds from running flights, but these are the basics we believe are needed to get a ship up and running.

The controls of the ship are currently being developed as part of the project led by Allan Stewart and Dave Wall.  The open source programs will be able to run on the computers currently being used at the school instead of having to buy new systems.We are very excited by this prospect and the amazing opportunity we have been given to work with them and the aide they are providing us.

Here are some images that show how the simulator might appear in the future.  On the left is a possible layout for desks, but more importantly shows the additional wall.  The others are images from inside the simulator and control room.  We'd love to have the new desks, but most likely they are a little further down the road.

In order for us to make these changes to the lab as well as purchase the necessary equipment to run the simulator, it is going to take some funds. We need the skills to build a wall or the money to pay someone to do it, not forgetting the actual materials as well.  With the increase of equipment we will also be running some new electrical outlets and the lighting system.  If you know someone who can help us with these tasks please contact us.  The great thing about this project is that our estimates are showing a very attainable fund raising goal.  We'll keep you posted on our progress.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Space Center Makes a Difference

Here is a post from our friends down South. Reading this letter from a teacher, it gives that renewal of purpose as we continue to endeavor to enrich the lives of our students similarly. Enjoy.

And Now the Teacher's Letter:

Dear Space Center,
It is has been 7-8 years since I took a classroom to Space Camp. Of course, I haven't been teaching all that time. As a matter of fact, I have just gotten back into the field. I teach seventh grade homeroom at a conservative private school in American Fork. I am looking into the possibility of taking both seventh grades next year and was excited to hear that the curriculum would be the same as it was the last time I went.

Because I had recently heard about Space Camp, I decided to see if it would fit the curriculum of the private school I worked for back in 1999. The principal was excited about it, so I sent off for information. We were thrilled that the book I had chosen for my sixth grade that year was The Diary of Anne Frank and that the Camp curriculum was going to cover that same book. I set up a date for us to go in November of that same year. Our principal decided that the small seventh and eighth grade would accompany us.

I worked with that teacher to set up the curriculum to include Science, Math, Language Arts, Music, Art, Literature, Spelling, Orthography/Penmanship, Speech/Oratory, Social Studies, Leadership and "Followership" Skills and PE. We started the day school started preparing our students for this experience. Although we used different student books and manuals, we were able to adjust the curriculum.

The students were not easy to handle, as many of them had been with each other for several years, some for seven years! We and they kept notebooks of our work. When the day came, we did our culminating activity and went to "after-school Space Camp."

It was fascinating to watch the class become a team during the two and one-half hour mission. However, what was phenomenal were the next days, the next weeks, the next months. These students had been somewhat surly in their approach to each other and me during the first several months of school. The next day, students who had had hard feelings, negative reactions to each other and to me, had been "re-born" because of this two and one-half hour experience. They were much more positive towards others in class and out. The looked for ways to help each other have positive experiences with learning.

They had a strong desire to learn, to be a part of a team, to look for ways to help me and they wanted to do their best. They were not little angels all the time, but they recognized that they could change and that it was a better change for them. I had
"new" students the rest of the year in more ways than one. Whenever a student came in who was new to seventh grade, my other students looked for ways to help them acclimate. They all gathered round those who had difficult or hard times during the rest of the year. It was a joy to behold!

Since this experience, I have had both parents and students of that seventh grade write to me expressing that this experience was a turning point in lives. Many of these
same students are now full-ride scholarship students at great universities, working on Doctorates. Others greet me on the street, telling me that that is one of the greatest experiences they have had in their lives, that they remind those with whom they come in contact with about this experience and are now "missionaries" for Space Camp, just like me!!!

What more can I say except what I have already said? I have said this in such a hurry that I hope that I have not been too incoherent!!!

ENGAGE!!!!! (as Commander Pickard used to say)

Mrs. Sharon S.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Laser Tag vs Space Center

I celebrated the birthday of my wife's cousin yesterday by participating in laser tag. It has been a long time since I have gone and it was definitely enjoyable. When they opened the door to the arena my lungs filled with the all too familiar scent of smoke machine juice as I entered that hot maze of glowing paint and mirrors. We played three 20 minute games for $18 a person since there was a holiday special going on. I did well to follow the list of rules for how we were to safely play by not running, kneeling, covering my sensors, and all the other protective measures. Overall it was a fun experience as the birthday boy got first place in one of the games and all of our group had a fun time.

Afterward I began comparing that birthday experience to the many I used to help host at the space center. For a space center birthday there is about one item that is the same, the smoke machine. First of all a flight runs for 2.5 hours at an average cost of $10 per person. That flight time is yours and yours alone unlike the laser tag time we shared with 20 other people. Many compare the story experience to that of a movie and so for that you are paying a bit more than the average Utah movie ticket price. Though unlike the movie you get to be a part of the experience and the decision you make could completely change how everything turns out. You also don't need to worry about screening the mission before you go for inappropriate content. In that process of ma
king decisions your group will experience and learn much more than just laser tag tactics.
It was interesting to think about this after the activity because I frequently would compare our private programs to laser tag when parents would sit and talk with us in the control room. This is probably why we have many fans who look forward to their birthday year after year as it has become a tradition to visit the space center. Don't misunderstand, I think laser tag and going to the movies are great birthday options, but they fall short in comparison to a private birthday flight into space.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

What makes it worthwhile?

I know that I have touched upon this subject in different ways, but it needs reviewing. As we work to try and develop our own education program here in the valley as well as make it possible for others through the Proteus project it is important to understand why. There is a lot of free time that goes into a project like this and I should emphasize free. The only success that has ever been achieved in this sort of program has been made possible by the countless hours of volunteers and unpaid time by employees. These are individuals who have decided that it is worthwhile to spend time programming, redesigning computer stations, or adding a new plot twist to a story because they want to improve the experience for students. Why aren't they at home enjoying some leisure time instead?

I believe one of the main reasons is because they have been affected by the program in some way and they want to pass it on. For some it might be that the space center sparked their interest in science and they are currently pursuing a career in that field because they found out just how much fun discovering can be. There are many who have participated and passed it on because for them they were able to live out a fantasy that helped them escape their difficult lives if only for a few hours. During those hours they were part of a team that went out and accomplished something good. For many volunteers this was the place where they felt comfortable as they were surrounded by other nerds. Yes that is right. We space center folk are a bunch of nerds. There is a little bit of nerd in all of us even if we don't admit it. The reason I know this is because there are cameras and microphones in the ships and some of the things I have heard and seen are explained only as nerdy.

Back to my point rather than justifying my social status. I don't believe there is any singular reason for why people volunteer at the space center. There are many different ways in which the program has enhanced peoples lives and many have decided to help others get something as well by volunteering. I'm so glad that even before this program has fully started I have had people contacting me about wanting to volunteer. I appreciate the support and as soon as I have a way for you to help I will let you know. The space center is a powerful instrument that has affected the lives of thousands if only in a small way. If this were not true the program would have failed years ago. So thank you for your support and hopefully we can make a difference with the students in our area soon.

Proteus Progress
Thanks to Landon, a former employee of the space center in Pleasant Grove, we are moving closer to figuring out the different elements that will go into getting this project underway. Landon works with the USU radio station (I'd give you a plug but I can't find the link to your program) and has helped us understand how they stream their broadcasts over the internet. This will be vital since the sound aspect is essential for creating an effective atmosphere in the simulator.