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.