Space Voyage was created and founded in 1987 by Dr. Palmere (then Mr. Palmere) and 14 middle school students at Welch Middle School in the Houston Independent School District. In five years of teaching at the middle school level, Palmere not only tested every theory he'd ever learned, he also created educational materials that are still in use in the Houston schools and across the United States.
The initial simulation program was piloted during the 1987-1988 school year and became a stand alone education program in 1989. Programing included: half-day school seminars, being the centerpiece at kids shows, and conducting mini-space-camps for business and industry. In 1991, with the help if Jim Allison, then G/T coordinator in the Jeffco Schools, we offer our first high fidelity summer camp to the students of Jefferson County Public Schools in Colorado. The space adventure camp was developed, perfected and polished over time. Participants described the camp as "The greatest summer camp in he world."
From the beginning of the program, our intention was to create "open ended, hands on activities with the "grip" to help students stay motivated and curious about the world around them and to maintain a positive attitude about the future. Without knowing it, the program became one of the first STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) programs in the United States. Hey, we were STEM before anyone even used the term to describe Science, Technology, Engineering and Math programs to encourage kids to become scientists.
Since its beginning, the program has conceptualized, designed, deployed and evaluated more then 1,000 "hands-on, minds-on" and project based activities. Activities focus on the career crossover skills of being accepted into an astronaut class: spaceflight and pilot skills, problem solving, teamwork and communication skills. Activities with such "grip" and opened-ness inspire thinking and encourage perseverance.
Space Voyage continues to be a program that inspires, motivates and empowers participating students, teachers and parents. We've ignited and inspired students to go into careers in the Air Force, Lockheed Martin Rocket Systems and many other scientific fields.
If you were involved in the history of Space Voyage, we'd love the hear from you.