Our Trip to the Starfleet Academy
My father is the man who brought me up on Ren and Stimpy, The X-Files, and Star Trek Deep Space 9. My mother watched the original run of Star Trek when it aired and she watches Doctor Who with me. So it was a no-brainer that while my parents were visiting New York City from Texas we needed to go to the Star Trek: The Starfleet Academy at the Intrepid.
The whole experience is supposed to take an hour, but it was more like a 90 mins for our family of nerds. The set-up brilliant. I expected a museum of Star Trek memorabilia. Instead, the exhibit is a walk through training facility of all the different roles available on a ship like the Enterprise. You’re given a very styling Star Trek wristband that collects all information from each station and at the end you find out which job you’re most suited for.
The different stations include: communication, medicine, science, navigation, tactical, engineering, and commanding. In each area, there is a computer for personality test and an interactive game meant to discern your capabilities in each arena. The tactical game, where players shot a phaser at targets on a screen, was by far my favorite. I shot 23 targets in 2 minutes; my mother shot 13.
Each section is also equipped with reading material following the different characters of the show, as well as the different uses of each job. So in Navigation there was Hikaru Sulu and Wesley or in Medicine there was Dr. Crusher or Dr. Bashir. I had an intense nerd girl crush on Dr. Bashir, and to this day when Alexander Siddig shows up in something (like Game of Thrones), I internally and externally freak out. Which is also what happened when I saw his face at the exhibit. #nochill
I didn’t realize until much later that the exhibit focused strictly on the TV shows, so the AU set of movies that are now a mainstay of summer blockbusters were not included. Sorry, Chris Pine and crew! But why focus on Chris Pine when you can have the originals? There was a costumes worn by William Shatner, what else do you need?!?
There are costumes and props littered through out. The Jean Luc-Pacard Robin Hood Costume was a big win. As a kid, I was a fan of Ferengis for some reason, so I made myself into a Ferengi in my photo. And I got a video of me teleporting.
The last test was none other than the Kobayashi Maru. For those who don’t know, the Kobayashi Maru is a simulated space challenge meant to test your diplomacy and find out how well you would do as a captain. The goal is to save all 300 crew members from a stranded Enterprise ship, while fending off a Klingon attack. The Klingons are no joke and I’m still not sure how well I did. I got 65/300 passengers into transport and according to the Kobayashi Maru, I accomplished my mission.
Everything that was participatory was saved on Star Trek watches. Once my watch accumulated all the necessary information, I check my stats. It turns out I did overwhelming well in the Communications sector, with skills in Diplomacy and a possible shot at Commanding. I was disappointed I didn’t earn anything in Risk Taking, but I guess that’s appropriate all things considered. I didn’t risk war during the Kobayashi Maru.
My mom also excelled in communication and my dad didn’t check his watch, just assumed it would be emailed to him. So while he’s an engineer in life, I don’t think he’ll be made commander anytime soon.
If you love the Star Trek TV series, or maybe if you wanna dip your toe into the fandom, I highly recommend the Star Trek: Starfleet Academy at the Intrepid. It’s interactive, fun, and not too full (they cap the groups at each hour). And you might learn a bit about yourself on the way.