|Crew of the Voyager during an Overnight Mission|
Today, the Center has 5 simulators, each with their own set of stories, controls, and ideas. We host nearly 1,200 kids a week, and teach them different problem solving, situational skills and social studies. It really is a joy to work with them, and even learn from them.
I found the Space Center in Elementary School. I had done missions in 5th grade, and came back multiple times with my friends. I was already in love with the place. When I was in 6th grade we came to do an overnighter, and I realized that I wanted to be here a lot. Back in those days, the volunteer pool wasn't overfilled, so I applied to volunteer a couple of weeks later. I remember that day well. It was a Saturday morning, about 11. My sister had a soccer game. I was in my cleats, and shorts and a t-shirt. Her game was at Central Elementary's field. I had a soccer ball, and I was kicking it around. I accidentally kicked it down the hill in the back, and when I looked over as I chased it, I saw Mr. Williamson outside taking out the trash. I ran over to my mother, and begged her to let me go talk to him (she had to give me permission to breathe as a child, which I appreciated then. It kept me from being kidnapped, or worse). She was against it at first, but I continued to beg. She allowed me to go, and I sprinted over to the door. Out of breath, I begged this powerful looking man to let me work at the center.
I can only imagine what it looked like from Mr. Williamson's point of view. This lanky kid runs up to you, in soccer gear, cleats, and panting asks "hey, Mr. Williamson, can I volunteer, here?" Knowing what I know of him now, I would say that his hesitation was annoyance, but he doesn't have it in him to say "no" to kids that have a desire to work here. He just doesn't have the heart for it.
|Victor Williamson in his natural habitat. Looking Distinguished|
|Me, today, holding my original volunteer submission from 10 years ago.|
Dear Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center,
My name is Bracken Funk, I love the Space Center; a very creative idea!!!
I love Star Trek, Star Trek The Next Generation and Star Trek Voyager, I know a great deal about each which helps because that is what you based the Space Center on!! I want to work at the Space Center because I enjoy learning about different things about space!!
I also am a great leader, for example, any time we play German Spy Dodgeball; my team always asms ME who the spy is going to be. I accomplish my work and get good grades!
I have also worked in the Student Council at Barratt!! (I wish I were at Central!!!)
I really want to work at the Space Center!
P.S. Address 918 North 1420 West
Telephone Number 796-0538
I laugh when I read this now. That describes me pretty well. I'm a little less in your face with everything, and I feel a little more mellow, but there you go. That was me.
I asked Vic what he thought about this particular day in Space Center history, these were his words about it:
I had no thoughts. You were just a kid, and you just asked to be a volunteer. What do you want from me?
So apparently he doesn't care about such things. However, that isn't the most concerning of things to me, he's become senile over the last few years, and his memory is failing him. That's ok. He has earned such rights.
So here is to 10 years of volunteering/working/playing at the space center. Thanks to all of those who have stood behind me when I was obnoxious, worked with me when I was bossy, and helped me when I was beaten.