Star Trek - The Learning Challenge LO13326

Myers, Kent (
Mon, 21 Apr 1997 10:24:24 -0400

Replying to LO13300 --

I'm glad you began with Picard. The Kirk character and story lines
suggest that brash goodness will always win the day. If you start off
with Kirk, your participants might try to drive the simulation in that
direction, which is not the lesson you want to teach.

Here's a scene for your consideration. Picard has judged that the
asteroid should be allowed to pass. Lt. Brash wants to zap it. Troi,
while sympathetic with Picard, has some disquiet about Picard's judgment,
which was arrived at swiftly and surely. She insists on a conference.
During the conference, a science officer reports new information that
shows that the atmosphere of the planet is highly variable. This wasn't
known from the first report, which was a snapshot. It turns out that
there may be more possibilities for an explosion, and Picard has new
doubts. Picard asks why this new information wasn't told to him, and the
science officer reports that nobody asked.

Some lessons you can draw from this:

People have to have the confidence to speak up if they think they have
something to offer, but they also have to offer it using an acceptable
process, and everyone else has to submit to the process. Troi didn't have
to read any minds, she simply noticed that an opinion had been formed on
scant information, that there was time to reconsider, and that the
reconsideration was worthwhile given the risks. (Owing to her position
and expertise as an "advisor", she had the freedom to call a conference
and wasn't forced to justify it to Picard's gatekeeper.) Picard was man
enough to drop his initial judgment. He had to be careful, though, when
chewing out the science officer. The science officer perhaps didn't
understand how his information was being used, and so didn't see the need
to keep reporting. On the other hand, he might have guessed how it was
being used, and should have passed it along, if a means was available for
doing so. Which leads to further story ideas.

A senior science officer volunteers to set up a reporting chain for
science information. New information arrives, but the senior officer
filters the report to "make it simple enough for Picard", or to "not
trouble him with things we have under control". Also, Lt. Brash is full
of himself for being "right" (based also on scant information) and assumes
that the meeting was equivalent to a decision to blow up the asteroid,
when all it actually did was leave the question open. Lt. Brash creates
an accident during unauthorized "preparations". After showing how these
two people screw up, I'd like to get back to Troi and have her screw up by
creating doubts after orders had been given. At the moment of truth, the
monitoring equipment fails. The crew performance has to be evaluated
without reference to the outcome.


Kent Myers Alexandria, VA

"Myers, Kent" <>

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