Building a capture strategy for us all
DEEP EMOTIONAL ENGAGEMENT
EXPANSIVE NATIONAL ECO-SYSTEMS
SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS STRATEGY
“...children learn by doing and by thinking about what they do. And so the fundamental ingredients of educational innovation must be better things to do and better ways to think about oneself doing these things.”
Teaching Children Thinking; Seymour Papert, Professor Emeritus, MIT
What is the Virtual Public Aerospace Career Concept?
The Virtual Public Aerospace Career Concept (VPACC) incorporated in December 2015 as a 501(c)3 with the explicit mission to innovate solutions for a unique informal learning strategy capable of being implemented as a national capture strategy, targeting scientific literacy and STEAM education.
VPACC’s Mission statement: We are pioneering an entertainment-centric, long-term strategy to engage the public in scientific literacy and STEAM education.
VPACC is targeting key challenging issues identified by professionals of education, industry and government:
1. Developing innovative emotional pathways into the STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts and Math) subject matter.
2. Developing architecture for Long term engagement to negate single event exposure.
3. Providing accessibility to such programs for the widest possible audience, via location, time and cost.
4. Developing realistic business models to create a sustainable endeavor.
VPACC plans to engineer an innovative and exciting new entertainment system capable of solving the four challenges identified above. VPACC is focused on engineering sets of midrange high fidelity motion and static flight simulators to operate in unison, allowing us to create mission architecture that can be shaped into a set of long term informal entertainment and educational programs. These tools form the centerpiece of an integrated strategy incorporating modern networks, technologies and organizations as a growing eco-system overlapping the public’s personal, social and educational spheres. As an informal learning strategy we place a high priority on emotional involvement and inspiration as the first critical line in an effective capture strategy.
VPACC as part of an ecosystem
VPACC is designed as both a capture strategy and a STEAM education resource, requiring and facilitating a broad community ecosystems. It is not a stand-alone program, gone are the days we work alone, the United States STEAM community is a team effort. Read more...
what is VPACC to you?
This question 'what is VPACC' depends on who you are, what is VPACC to your children, what is VPACC to you, as an industry a nation, and what is VPACC to us all?
First, to your child, or anyone participating in VPACC, it is a system of high fidelity simulators and supporting programs that allow the team to write the story of how they, as a team of four friends, explored and conquered the universe. It is a narrative soaked in experience, lessons hard learned, battles lost and won. It is the movie in which they became the heroes, saved the world and drove the very expansion of our species to and beyond the horizons.
For you, it will demonstrate what your child is capable of achieving. It is the necessary long term engagement that will help us overcome single event exposure, to drive the interests and passion of a hungry thrill seeking and digitally skilled generation into the unblinking gaze of progress and the unwavering belief in future beyond Earth. It’s a program rooted in entertainment, through the lens of exploration and adventure. Using a system of motion and static high fidelity simulators, it allows players to develop virtual aerospace careers over the long term. It’s an integrated program, dovetailing with the player's home, education and social spheres synchronized with real simulators located in population centers around the country. VPACC is a long-term program that provides us options to unify our collective efforts, throughout the fields of informal and STEAM education.
For us all, it is a capture strategy. Upon our horizon loom the next chapters in our history: the advent of space tourism, the commercialization of space, and humanity's push beyond low Earth orbit, to name a few. Should we fail to have a mature capable capture strategy in place, waiting to accept the firestorm of enthusiasm that will follow, then we deserve the harshest judgment history will arrange.
Why Is VPACC Necessary?
“It is suicide to produce a society that depends on science and technology and that does not understand science and technology”
– Carl Sagan
Inspiring someone to learn takes more than traditional academics. It takes emotion and meaning, that’s the business we are in. If we want to truly engage today’s “on-screen” generation in STEAM subjects, we need a new level of interactivity, social movements, and meaningful programs. To innovate we are going to have to push out of our comfort zones.
Scientific literacy is critical for a viable future and its workforce, and is also a key cog in our economic engine. But classroom-bound educators face huge challenges in teaching the STEAM subjects, and they simply cannot be the only source of motivation in the sciences. Solutions outside the school gate can lay the groundwork for inspiring a new generation, and the public in general.
How does VPACC work?
"Education is not filling buckets, its Lighting fires”
– W.B Yeats.
Players wishing to participate form teams of four members and the teams create an online account. They first become familiar with the spacecraft’s controls and systems simulated in free games accessible online. These can be mastered at home on any device, making the initial connection with the program easily attainable. Learning how to operate these vehicles involves learning the basics; flight avionics, navigation and the required team work, and this prepares the players to operate the physical simulator.
Then, with their attention captured and interest amplified, the players head out for the closest VPACC simulator. There, the team uses their knowledge and experience to physically fly missions. The teams book online making an appointment in much the same way you might book a haircut or a seat at the movies.
At the center, such as an aerospace museum/science center or retail center, the teams are processed at reception. They are then led to a fitting room where participants can suit up. From there the team is led by staff to the simulator.
They’re physically immersed in a tactile kinetic experience, all achieved by a collection of motion and static simulators designed to provoke emotional response. The more senses are engaged, the more meaningful the experience, the deeper the connection with the subject matter. This combined with a well-organized narrative creates a powerful and memorable experience.
From the crew’s perspective, the motion simulator would represent a near-future horizontal take-off vehicle. Note that the project uses a realistic near-future scenario concept rather than a ‘Star Trek’ type or fanciful concept. This is required to keep the science and subject matter as relevant as possible. Horizontal take-off and landing concepts are used to create depth within the experience, and expand both the mission’s scope and flexibility.
Working from that perspective, let’s take a look at what this entails. First, we need to imagine all the action being centered on the cockpit – the motion platform. We therefore need to invent the ‘Swiss Army knife of spacecraft' - let’s call it the Multi-Purpose Exploration Vehicle (MPEV). The static platform is our ‘Mission Module’ and then we have the lifting body along with the cargo bay.
Using a sandbox universe will offer a wide range of experiences, to encourage competition as well as co-operative behavior between teams or organized groups of teams. For example, a game-wide competition could include the search for life in the solar system. The first team to reach a planet, find hidden life on some obscure distant moon, or build distant fuel depots could be rewarded with monetary or virtual incentives. This incentive (competitive or cooperative) is one example that could encourage teams to explore far and wide.