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Aerospace Center For Excellence Groundbreaking Set For Wednesday

Project SkyLab Will Be A STEM Laboratory Learning Center In Lakeland, FL

The the Aerospace Center for Excellence (ACE) will break ground on "Project SkyLab", a $4.6M expanded facility at Sun ‘n Fun Expo Campus Wednesday, January 15th at 11:00am. The ceremony will be attended by many government dignitaries (state, county and city), community leaders, and philanthropic supporters.

 
Project SkyLab will address the ever-increasing demand for highly skilled aerospace-trained individuals by creating STEM laboratory training environments to support the flourishing ACE programs.

In addition to private and corporate donations, Project SkyLab was the recipient of a $493,000 grant from the State of Florida Division of Cultural Affairs because of the support of the Polk County Legislative Delegation. Although the final goal has not been reached, committed funds encouraged the ACE Board of Directors to move forward with construction ahead of the original timeline.

“ACE is a very special and important launchpad for the aerospace industry as our programs and scholarships have caught their attention worldwide. Because of the belief in our collective vision, ACE has the potential to be a major resource in staffing the future of the aerospace industry with its next leaders.” says John “Lites” Leenhouts, President and CEO of the Aerospace Center for Excellence.

Through Project SkyLab, ACE aims to:

  • Meet the expanding facility needs of current ACE educational programs
  • Leverage established agreements with higher education and technical training partners who will utilize the new facility to expand their curriculum center and workforce training programs
  • Significantly grow informal STEM experiences for young learners

Major components of the project include:

  • Expand scope of programs and accommodate the exponential growth of student participants over recent years
  • Laboratory learning experiences where major exhibits are moved into classroom spaces for close inspection and training
  • Flexible and cutting-edge instruction areas for small or large training programs
  • Robust and extensive aerospace media center
  • Seminars, webcasts, and other large-audience presentations

Provide laboratory learning opportunities and workforce training program facilities for ACE higher education partners including:

  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
  • Southeastern University
  • Polk State College
  • Florida Polytechnic University

ACE utilizes its museum, the Florida Air Museum, to provide students with personal connections to learning in fun and engaging ways. Once engaged, ACE offers progressive education programs to develop their interests by leveraging exhibits, activities and formal scholastic opportunities to accelerate students into high demand, high paying aerospace careers.

(Source: Aerospace Center for Excellence news release)

FMI: www.aceedu.aero

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