It’s The End Of The Year, But Wings of Eagles Discovery Center Looks to 2014!

Dear Friends and Supporters,

As the holiday season joins with the first snows of winter, your Wings of Eagles Discovery Center Team wants to take a few moments to wish each and every one of you the very best during the holiday season. As the winter snows help us focus on our indoor activities, we think this end of year newsletter might be an excellent time to bring our community supporters up to speed on the accomplishments of 2013 and to send along a preview of some of the great activities and goals of the coming year.

This summer saw the second successful “Summer of Innovation” program in our new facility. In 2013, we expanded the number and types of programs offered and over 500 children attended classes. In 2014, we will increase the science and technology content of our summer offerings and further tie the summer experience to classroom requirements so students are better prepared for the academic year. The last two years have clearly demonstrated that the demand for math and science education is greater than the space we have available and the need for us to expand is crucial.

In addition, I am pleased to report that our partnership with Sweet-N-Saucy catering has surpassed expectations with the opening and operation of the Wings Cafe. Not only are visitors served a great lunch, but the Wings Cafe has successfully catered special events, both large and small, while increasing visitor traffic to the facility and supporting our core educational vision. We look forward to many special events and continued food service growth in 2014. If you have not already had the opportunity to come by and enjoy a fantastic meal at the Wings Cafe, please accept our invitation to stop in for lunch Monday through Friday and enjoy one of the more unique eateries in the area.

In November, with help from Laborers Local 785 of the Laborers International Union of North America, permanent concrete pads were professionally installed around the grounds of our new facility to display our outside aircraft collection. A ceremony to rededicate the aircraft to our nation’s veterans was held on Veterans Day and many guests, family members and friends attended the occasion. We hope to make our Veterans Day event an annual gathering to support the many veteran’s organizations in our community.

Moving forward, the Wings of Eagles Discovery Center Team is currently preparing a new educational program that will include a robotic Martian Driving School. The Earn Your Mars Driver’s License program will combine the excitement of remote controlled model robotics with science education goals on a scaled down version of the Martian surface. Both the modeled landscape and program have been inspired by the ongoing NASA Curiosity explorer mission. To earn a Martian Driver’s License, teams of students will complete specific tasks while maneuvering a rover through a simulated Martian landscape. Our goal is to have this program spark student’s imaginations and stimulate their interest in participating in our follow-on robotic program, Return To The Moon. This new program will use state-of-the-art quad-copter flying technology and is currently under development.

Lastly, I would like to announce that we have been honored with a $150,000 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission that will allow us to move forward in our efforts to build additional interactive classrooms in our facility’s adjoining hanger building. While we are privileged to receive this grant, it comes with the requirement that we raise matching funds to qualify for the award and it is with that goal that I reach out to you and yours. We believe that our vision of a regional Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education center that works in direct partnership with our local school systems is a critical element in bringing the world of science opportunities to our area youth. With a one of a kind learning environment, new high speed, high capacity internet capabilities and innovative STEM project based learning opportunities, Wings of Eagles Discovery Center is an established community partner that is poised to grow in order to fill the increased demands of the coming years. The link included here is a recent CNN article, not about your Discovery Center, but about the critical need for institutions like ours. It is among the best articles I’ve seen that summarizes the need for organizations like your Discovery Center. We are hoping that you will join us for success in the coming year.

As a closing remark, please allow me offer not only my personal thanks for your past support but the thanks of every Wings of Eagles volunteer and staff member. We send only the very best wishes for you and yours this holiday season and throughout the New Year.

Very respectfully,

Mike Hall
President and CEO
Wings of Eagles Discovery Center